Friday, December 3, 2010

why do I write

Yesterday, in the midst of an increasingly heated email exchange, someone asked me why I write. Here. Actually, it was more an accusation that I crave attention, that I'm having an emotional crisis, that I'm insecure and need people to pay attention to me but why would anyone be interested in the problems of a want-to-be-who-never-was. It ended with the suggestion that I double my medication or figure out what dire things are truly wrong with me.

But that's another story.

In that fragile, painful, charged moment I wasn't sure. Why did I write here? Was she right? Was it all because I'm needy, need to bring other people down to build myself up, am a loser who does nothing so I need to share my angst with the world? So, I mentioned the slam on twitter last night and got this response:

because you touch my heart, teach me new things, & allow me to see the world differently

And I realized I knew the answer all along. I write because I'm a writer.

I am a writer.

And how can one write without baring their souls, even a bit?

To have a creative soul isn't easy. The ups and downs are dramatic, at times exhilarating, others terrifying. It can be lonely. It can be scary. Sometimes you (I) can teeter on the edge wondering if what you do/who you are is worthy, worthwhile, sane. But to write is to frame things, to explore, to express.

Do I share too much? Sometimes. Do I regret things I've written? Occasionally. But where would I be if I bottled this up and locked my soul in a box. I know people like that. People who are so shut down, closed off, tightly wound that everything needs to remain a deeply hidden secret. I lived that life for too long. It almost killed me.

But—and this took years and years—I found my voice.

And I will never, ever let it get shut down again.

Should someone not want to share my journey, no worries. Should others want to judge me, ok. I can take it. Should anyone need to bring me down to make themselves feel better, it's your life and you have to live with yourself. I will never know the suffering inside you that makes you inflict pain.

I can only be myself, live my life, and share the way that works for me.

I am a writer.

I write.

And I am grateful, beyond grateful, for that.

1 comment:

MsMaverick said...

And power to you! There's a reason for the expression...the pen is more powerful than the sword. Your critic is most likely intimidated by the power your words yield. Because writing is not just about creation and self-expression by the writer....its impact beyond the creator is realised when it involves a second person- a reader (s). Then it takes on another dimension- it connects ideas and emotions. And sometimes, writing becomes transformational and that is REALLY powerfu...when the writer catalyses a reaction or a new order of things. All art requires courage.