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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Write?

Why do we write?

Many of us started writing when we were teenagers—or even younger. Do you remember how fun it was to imagine and dream up stories? How easy it was to pretend you were all of the characters? Most of us began writing more diligently as adults, but I know there are some who continued writing through all their years. I'm so impressed when I hear of someone who's journaled for years without stopping. How I wish I'd done that over the course of my half-century. Recently, I read an article in the newspaper about a husband and wife who'd been writing each other a letter every single day for over a decade. Isn't that amazing? What a beautiful real-life love story!

For those of us who call ourselves writers, why do we write now?

Do we still have the joy of writing as we did when we started out? When we felt delighted with our imaginations and our ability to write freely about anything that popped into our minds?

Or has thinking about writing, and writing about writing, become a drudgery of words?

Now, I believe you can write whether you feel like it or not, and most of us have done that. But what about the why of writing? Do you still feel “called” to write? Is there something inside you drawing you to your computer screen—or the faithful legal pad and pen—as if it has a mind of its own? As if the story is calling you? Or has writing become something you better do every day or your writing skills will certainly shrivel up like a prune?

For me, I want to write because I want to write.

I want to write because I experience joy in writing. It's a part of me I can share. Like a lady who has amazing hospitality and shares her tea and cookies with friends, I want to share the stories inside of me.

If I fall into the rut of writing just to write, I need to step back a moment in time to when I first started writing, or when I first thought of myself as a writer. I need to refresh my memory about the love affair I have with writing. To cherish it. To allow the joy to fill me back up.

Sure, we all have days when we don't want to write—or do much of anything else.

But this is writing we're talking about. We are so blessed to be able to work and play at the art of writing and sharing our gift. So let's have fun with it!

Why do I write?
Not because I can't not write. Not because I have to.
I write because I love to write!!

How about you? What compels you to write?