Two nights ago, my husband José and I decided to do nothing. So we laid down on our bed and listened to music. When “Overthought” by Feverkin came on, José said, “This song always makes me think of you.” “Why is that?” I asked. “Because the tick tick is your focus, and then you scribble, because that’s how you communicate. It’s just you.”
José is right, and his analysis hints are the very heart of why I write. I think I was born a writer, because I can’t think of a time when I have ever not been one. It is such an integral part of who I am, that writing why I write feels like writing why I am who I am.
First of all, the focus. The focus has always been a defining aspect of me. I have the opposite of ADD. I hyper focus. In high school I got the nickname “Spacey Stacy” because I would so often lose myself in such focused thought that I would do silly things like walk into columns in the hallway.
When I have a project before me, and I’m fully engaged, practically nothing will convince me it’s important enough for me to get up and attend to it. My cat can meow his head off for a little while at the door. The kids can get themselves a snack. José can talk to me later. I’m in the zone and I’m not leaving. This is especially true if I am writing.
If there is ever a time when time stands still, for me that is when I am writing. The outside world is completely tuned out. Time is frozen in that space, where I write, and I find answers.
I first started writing poetry and short fiction when I was in middle school. I don’t remember exactly when. I do remember writing my first poem, about my stuffed dragon puppet, on a road trip. That was the first time my heart truly sang. I was so excited, I could burst with it. I think that was the day I fell head over heels in love with writing.
When I write, a pour a little bit of me into my words. It is a sacred act. It is an act of power. I could be writing an email RSVP or “Happy Birthday.” It doesn’t matter. There goes a little bit of me.
When I say sacred, I really do mean that writing for me is inextricably intertwined with my Faith. When I write Poetry, it doesn’t come to me, it comes through me. A big part of my conscious brain turns off. I don’t think. I write.
I can hardly take credit for my own writing sometimes.
It’s not that I’ve chosen to write, it’s that writing has chosen me. I’ve done a lot of different, wild, crazy things in my life. I’ve tried out a lot of careers, jobs, hobbies, and businesses. But if you were to ask me what one thing in my life I am here to do, I don’t think a second of thought would pass before I knew the answer. I’m here to write.
And it’s silly. Ridiculous! That it’s taken me so many decades of life to come fully to terms with this. To stop chasing rainbows that disappear. To stop running away from my fate.
I’m here to write about everything. Every thought and every dream and every story. José asked me, “If you’re writing everything on the blog, when it comes time to write a book, what will you have left to write about?” I looked at him for a moment, surprised.
Then I said, “You speak as though there is an end. There is no end. There is no limit. The well is bottomless. Writing is limitless. There will always be more new ideas. I get 20 new ideas for blog posts every day and I can’t even possibly write about them all. Even if I write for every second of every day, I will never run out of things to write.”
My friend Jen wrote in her blog post Speak Up When It Hurts: How a Stoic Learned to Share Her Pain,
“I became a writer, because the page offered a tremendous amount of blank space for truth-telling and inspiration.”
I love her insight. I write because writing calls to me, but if I had to pick an effect that it has on me and the world, this would be it. Writing inspires us, and it offers us the opportunity to tell the truth. A blank page doesn’t have a reaction, an opinion, or a judgment. It is the ultimate listener. After it listens, it becomes a conduit through which to share, and to be heard by others.
In her article, Jen also quotes Muriel Rukeyser.
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open
This speaks so deeply to me that it doesn’t speak to my heart, it speaks to my soul.
When I decided to start this blog, after 15 years of putting it off for fear and lame excuses, I promised one thing in my first blog post. I promised that I would write real, and I would write raw. I promised to hold nothing back. I don’t know how much my husband is going to love that promise, but it’s been published now so there’s no going back!
Everyone has a story to tell. I tell mine by writing. And there is so much yet to tell.
I am a writer. This is why I write.
Why do you write?