Why I Write

When I was a kid, I think around 8 or 9 years old, I wrote a long story on index cards. I remember being embarrassed of them, so I flushed them down the toilet. Of course, this led to a clogged toilet and a long talk with my parents about why the index cards were in the bathroom to begin with.

Why am I telling you this story?

Well, because, at that young age, through the odd conversation about a stuffed-up toilet, I realized I wanted to write because writing makes my world bigger. Books, magazines, and screens share stories with oodles of people, not just the ones who share your rooftop. I craved being a part of the conversation of books and wanted my story in the world, not a story to be shared around the dining room table.

Books introduced me to different ways to live and ideas about how vast life can be. I wanted in on that magic. I loved that I could experience different viewpoints and I wanted to share mine, too.

I still feel this way. I write because with each project I work on, the world feels like it’s expanding. I write because the limitations of putting experiences into marks on a page is liberating.

It’s frustrating at times, to wrestle thoughts and emotions into words. But doing so helps me to define my own experiences. That exercise, of examining my life while reading about the lives of others, allows me to have more experiences, try on other personas, voices, and opinions.

I write because I want to live fully. I want to read about all of the places I’ll never be, the people I’ll never meet, and the jobs I’ll never have. So, naturally, the next step is to allow those ideas to meld in the soup pot of my brain, and then write about them, or how I interpret them, or how that writing has shaped me.

Now, many drafts end up in the trash bin, just as my first first draft ended in the toilet. But that’s alright. If I keep writing, my writing will improve. 

Or it will make more sense. 

Or I’ll learn a bit more about how to be a decent human.

Or, or, or. That's why I write.

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