Why I Write
edited: Tuesday, November 18, 2003
By Laurie Anthony
Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2003
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We all reflect on why writing matters so much to us. Here are my thoughts!
Why I Write
My writing has always worked for me. My fifth grade diary detailed my first crush; my college spirals contained my soul-searching thoughts; my blank books reflected the ups and downs of marriage and raising a child. Do writers always write about what's most important to them? I just know that paper and pen have been my way to stay sane. When you have a passion—whether it's for personal growth, the betterment of society, or for creating a perfect mystery—the words are there inside you, and with a lot of patience, the words will find their way to the paper.
I love blank page after a blank page in a new journal. If the lines on the page are close together, but not too close, that is even better. And notebooks, whole blank notebooks, are heaven. When they’re only 19 cents each, which they are at Target at the beginning of the school year, I get lots of them. I love to fill the notebooks with words, thoughts, lists, budgets, things to do, New Year’s resolutions, plans, goals, reflections, and mostly ideas.
I think that I have some great ideas. This is the creative part of me. One idea leads to another, and I’m always amazed as to where I end up. Now, I don’t always do anything with the ideas, but I jot them down because maybe I will go back to them someday.
Writing is how I can speak and reflect and put the combination of words together that really express how I am feeling. Writing is big for me – I know it is because it feels like starting an exercise program. The first few times are the hardest, and then I start to get consumed by it. I need to write. I need to write. I know that after I write I will feel connected again to myself.
Writing is a way for me to empty out myself, share my thoughts and feelings, put them out without restraint, without judgment, a way to work through feelings, discovering connections, insights, and worries, dangers, risks, confidences, problems, creative problem solving, left brain activity, conversations with myself, solving the problems of the world, not wondering or worrying if anyone will listen to me, and whether I’ll be ignored.
Writing is all that. It validates my experiences and me; it allows me the freedom to explore, to go further, and to not have to worry about where I’ll end up. It’s a way for me to feel good about myself. I love going back and read what I’ve written. Some of it is poorly written, and it might be hard for me to figure out what I was trying to say, but other parts of it just thrill me to pieces. WOW!! I wrote that. I reread it again and again, not sure where those words and thoughts came from. I write because it feels good. I analyze, observe, and question so much all the time, judging and also wondering --Why did his eyes just flicker? She has a roll--does it bother her like it bothers me? I can write all the little ongoing conversations I have with myself. Writing is a place where I can release it, empty out my mind. It’s a kind of therapy for me.
When I was in high school, I talked on the phone for hours with my friend, Faye. We analyzed everything, over and over again, every part of the day, each person we talked to, each thought we had, and when we were done with our conversation, I felt good. I felt like I had made sense of my day, and I was able to do this by talking with Faye.
I don’t do that anymore – talk to a friend for hours. Except of course, when I get together with my old college roommate, Sandy, once every couple of years or so, and then we discuss all the details of everything that’s important, every significant thought that we can remember since the last time we got together, and it feels good, that honesty, that reflection.
I talk to my husband a lot and process and reflect so much of what’s going on in my life with him. But frequently he is out of town, busy with work, or involved in his own stuff.
So I write. And that’s what keeps me going. Keeps my mind clear and focused. Cleans out the cobwebs, puts two and two together, helps me make sense of my life.
When I write, I can rant and rage, I can solve problems, I can feel creative; I can feel proud of my writing.