I love to write. I love the way it stretches me. I am a better person when I write regularly. And yet, writing is also hard. It takes time and energy and focus, and there are days that all of those things feel like they are in short supply.
When I encounter those days, I start to question why I spend my time writing when it does not bring me any of the standard measures of success (money or fame). It is helpful in those moments to be able to remind myself why I write. This week’s set of links are ones that explore this question in various ways, and each of them helps to remind me of the reasons that I write.
I recently came across a particularly beautiful post called Why We Write by Sue Fitzmaurice of the Trying God’s Patience blog. In this post, she has collected answer from a number of author-friends about why they write. Each author expresses their own reason for writing in a very personal way and the answers range from the joy of personal growth that comes from writing to the value of stories and words to self-expression, but they all describe coming to a place where they needed to write to express what was bubbling up inside. My reasons for writing are probably as varied as these authors express, and reading their answers is a great reminder to me of why I do what I do.
Joshua Becker of the Becoming Minimalist blog recently wrote a post called 15 Reasons Why I Think You Should Blog. I really loved this post because he lists the ways in which writing a blog has had positive benefits for his life, and they were wonderful reminders of all of blessings that blogging has brought (and continues to bring) to my own life. I could identify with almost every one of his points (except the one about making money from blogging … I haven’t done that one yet at all). This will be a post for me to come back to any time I’m feeling a little discouraged to remind me of why I do this!
Catherine Fruisen of the Resisting Gravity blog wrote a post called Ode to a Fish that explored the question of why she writes when the world is already full of so many words that are already written. Her conclusion for why it is valuable for her to continue writing any way is that each of us has a unique voice and message, so even if it seems like something has already been said, it has not yet been said by us in our voice. And the world needs to hear all of our voices. This is another good reminder for those days when I get discouraged!
My final post for this set is one on the Writing Sisters blog called The Power of Our Stories. They talk about how the way we really get to know other people is by listening to their stories. The stories we tell and the way we choose to tell them tells much about who we are. I’d argue that the way we get to know ourselves is by listening (really listening) to our own stories and to the stories of others. At the heart of things, I think we all have the same stories, so in listening to and exploring how they appear in different ways and how they are told in different ways, we have the opportunity to re-tell our stories in more empowering ways.
I recently saw a quote on Twitter (from @counternotions) that said “storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” I think that may be why I love stories so much, and why I love reading and writing as a way to explore my own stories and those of others. Life is story. And for me, that story is expressed best through writing.
And that’s why I write. Why do you write?
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.