Words marring white.
Pain overflowing onto paper.
Pouring out a story I never knew I had inside me.
Why do I write?
Why would I have the audacity to believe that anyone so small, so insignificant as myself could have something worth listening to?
I’ve never been able to answer that question. I don’t know if I ever will.
I’ve written since my tiny fingers could form scribbled letters with a wobbly pencil.
When I was very young- maybe about 6- I wrote my first “book.” It was about ten sheets of construction paper, folded together to look like a book. It was written about another 6 year old (go figure) who had a horse farm and lived happily ever after.
I never questioned why I decided to write.
And when I had written a short novel by the time I was ten, I never really wondered why I had written it.
I wrote because it was inside me and I couldn’t hold it there. I wrote because it was my story to tell, but it was beyond that. It was other people- other stories I had to tell, not because they were mine, but precisely because they weren’t.
Words fascinated me. As a young child, I read books- I read new books, I read old books, I read trash, I read classics, I read church-approved books, I read books I had to hide under my pillow, I read kids books, I read adult books.
Ideas fascinated me.
People fascinated me.
God fascinated me.
Love fascinated me.
Conflict- not action movie conflict, not wars- but conflict of ideas, of individuals, of expectations- fascinated me.
The first novel I wrote (mentioned earlier) was scrawled into a girl purple notebook. But unlike the ordinary nine-and-ten-year-olds, this was no longer horses and happily-ever-after. I wrote a story of passionate jealousy in a child whose family had adopted other children.
I didn’t realize it then, but it was my way to deal with the jealousy I had for my own older brother.
So I guess that’s another reason.
I write to process emotion.
I write because I love words.
I write because I love to wrestle with ideas.
I write for all these reasons, but most of all, I write because I have to. Because it’s who I am, fundamentally.
Why do you write?