The other day my lovely friend B. A. Veiman of The Writing Chickadee sent me a video of poet and performer Cecilia Knapp sharing her spoken word poem “Why I Write.”
After listening to her gorgeous (and gorgeously-British-accented!) prose, I asked myself: why do I write?
This is a good time to ask that question. My daughter was born last January, and in the past year, finding the time and energy and mental space for writing has become even more difficult than it already was. There are times when I feel guilty for not writing, and times when I get annoyed at my baby and my husband for not leaving me alone to write. There are even times when I feel the creative muse has left me — gone to find someone who is not sleep-deprived and spending her mental energy on what she should puree for baby’s breakfast.
So the question is: why? Why do I write? Wouldn’t it be easier if I just stopped trying?
Easier, maybe. But definitely not better.
After listening to Ceclia Knapp’s poem, I decided to list all the reasons why I write. My “Why I Write” is not as beautiful or lyrical as hers, but it’s more than enough to remind me that finding the time and energy for writing is well worth the effort.
Why I Write:
Because I don’t always know what I think until I write it down.
Because I want to leave something behind.
Because I’m not always good at talking.
Because it’s how I connect with the world.
Because it’s how I connect with myself.
Because words can be so beautiful.
Because it’s fun to make up stories.
Because life rushes by in a flash, but writing can save a little piece of it to examine and appreciate.
Because it’s how I attempt to make sense of things.
Because sometimes a story can best capture a feeling.
Because it’s how I share my point of view with others.
Because sometimes I’m surprised by my own imagination.
Because when I’m writing, I get to be in charge. And I’ve always been something of a control freak.
Because it makes me happy to be creative.
Because now that I’m a boring mom, I can live vicariously through my characters.
Because I’ve always loved books and I’ve always wanted to write one of my own.
Because writing is something I can do for the rest of my life.
Because it’s a part of who I am.
It felt good to write this list. If you’re feeling low in the motivation department, I recommend making a “why I write” list for yourself.
And I’d love to hear the reasons on your list: why do YOU write?
Why do I write?
I write because it takes things off of my mind
I write because then I’m free
I write because I get lost in thought
I write because it brings me happiness
I write because it brings me sadness
I write because it can bring tears to my eyes-tears of joy and sadness
I write because it comforts me
I write because it gives me hope
I write because then, I can dream
I love this. Thank you so much for sharing.
I love this! I want to make a similar list of my own. I identified with many of your reasons.
Love this post, especially the point about that sure about somethings until you write them down. I write because it is therapeutic and it is a good way to collect my thoughts to look back at them later.
Definitely! I have diaries dating back to sixth grade and it’s amazing (and sometimes hard!) to go back and read them. I never would have remembered most of the things I wrote.
All of these things for me! I’ve always been a better communicator with written word versus verbal (though I’m getting better). I write because it is therapeutic for me!
Cat Chiang says
This is such a good exercise to do. Thanks for sharing!
I love the idea of trying this exercise. I write because it makes me happy to be creative as well 🙂