Why I Write

As I drove up the hill today, I was psyched for the new session of writing group. Our first prompt was a literary kind of checking in, that we do from time to time. ‘Write something you’d like us to know,’ was what our facilitator said. As always, I put my pen to the page without even thinking about it and freewrote for five minutes. My writing follows.

***

“I regrouped this summer. Why do I write? I asked myself. Why do I feel the need to be published? Am I seeking validation? Approval? Acceptance? What?

I thought long and hard about it, wrote about it, and read about it. And then I went to a talk at Wordstock last weekend. ‘A writer’, Cynthia intoned, ‘is someone who feels bad when they’re not writing’. An appreciative ripple of laughter ran through the audience.

And so I decided. I write because I must. I write because I cannot not write. I write because the words are there whether or not I choose to put them on paper. I write mostly for myself. I write to put a name to a feeling, to capture a moment in time, to get it just right. And if my work touches someone else in the process, that’s simply icing on the cake. That’s why I write.”

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