I write because

first letter

Why do I write? I consider this question several times a year. Why do I write now when I’m not getting paid for my work? And writing is work, regardless of how enjoyable it might feel.

Today I write because it takes me away. Whether fiction, poetry, or nonfiction in those moments while I am writing I’m not here; I’m somewhere else. Something of a meditation, writing pulls and pushes, sorts, brings forth and reveals thoughts and feelings. It’s cleansing. Writing sets me right with myself, puts things in order in myself.

Today I write because my readers respond. Your feedback inspires me. Your appreciation of language encourages me to keep writing, keep exploring ways of using language. Everybody likes praise, right? It’s like applause for a performance, the interchange between musician and dancer, the interaction between writer and reader.

Today I write because I can construct worlds, places, characters, and events. I write to clear my heart and my heartache. Most of my writing doesn’t get read and usually that doesn’t matter. The act of creating is stronger than the need for showing. But, oh, to have audience and feedback, that matters, too.

Today I write because I love the art of language. I love the challenges of using nothing but language to express a scene with sensory images, to show a vignette or a feeling.

Today I write to explore genres, to bend and reshape genres, to break the rules. I write for the trial. I write to keep my mind in practice and focused.

Today I’m not writing to be published; I’m not writing for pay. I write because I can communicate with those people who will take the time to read, who have enough endurance to stay with words and ideas. I write because Uncle Clarence and my grandparents wrote letters to me since I was a child and they read my letters and responded, as if what I wrote was important, as if it mattered. Connecting with people, with family and strangers, that matters.

I write because it matters.

This post is my response to today’s writing prompt in the Writing 101 course, challenging me to write a post a day. The photos are my contribution to this week’s photo challenge: connected. The poetry magnets poem is “connected” to my fridge and more words connect my guests with me as they leave unique word arrangements for me to find after they’ve gone. The hand written letter is the first of many that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother, courting her during World War 1. I started a story stimulated by the series of letters, the Cat Rock Letters. I haven’t progressed very far with that project but I hope to get back to it this month. 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a blogger, a writer. So tell me, please, I want to know why do you write?