My Husband tells me I think in words.
Now you’re wondering, doesn’t everyone? No, I don’t believe that is true.
Some of us do think in words; we find sense and structure in our world via letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. Others may think in pictures and see the world laid out in visual splendor before their eyes, or perhaps in ideas using concepts and theories to explain the circumstances of life. Still others think in music hearing secrets of the universe revealed in melodies and harmonies, or in numbers to explore the world’s mysteries in facts, equations, and balance sheets.
Writers write for so many different reasons and I suspect every writer out there will very likely give a different answer if you ask. Some may give you several. Some may give you different answers on different days. Today I write because a tree inspired me; tomorrow I will write because I need to buy food. Perhaps we write for practical reasons. I once wrote three poems for a school anthology assignment because I couldn’t find precisely the right poems to represent the categories given in the guidelines. You never know what inspires.
Writers often talk about writing because they have to or need to. Some writers say that for them, writing is like breathing – something they have to do or die. I don’t know that I fit into that category; I can go about my life without putting pen to page every day and I do manage to breathe just fine. Although, even on days when I do not write, the words in my heart and head do not stop. They continue to swirl and take form without my permission and while I will capture some to record and save, others are elusive and pass by leaving only the faintest shadow of a memory.
Maybe writing is just something we have always done. I can’t tell you when I started writing, but I can tell you that I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing something – songs, stories, poems, essays, papers, and so much more. There are days I love to write, days the words come easily. And there are days I truly hate it, days when the struggle to put down a coherent thought is painful and real. Some days I truly wish my words would just leave me alone.
I remember learning somewhere that writers write to help make sense of the events that befall them in life. Writers write about what frightens them, about the things they do not or cannot understand. Some write because they have stories to tell or a message to share with the world. Writers write about what moves them, whether to tears, to anger, or to action. Writers write about what they know (how often have we heard that advice?) and about what they wish they could know. I’ll agree with each of those. Pick a topic, a style, a genre, anything – someone wrote it for some reason. I think at some point in my life, I’ve written for each of these these reasons and for many more.
So why do I write?
I write because of all the things I do and have done with my life, writing is the most pure.
I write because I make sense of my world in words. I write because I think in words.
I write because I am a writer.
I write because I am words.
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