My Cravings: Why I Write

writeI can’t remember a time that I didn’t like writing, or even reading for that matter. My first favorite book was James and the Giant Peach, and I remember writing a quite similar story about little panther

I ended up being rather prolific on papers, competing with my tendency for voracious verbal fluency for advertising time. Poetry, short stories, editing the school newspaper, pen-pals (I still write to my 6th grade teacher 2 times a month) long written cards, now e-cards, and love letters. Then something happened. It was called graduate school and I tended to be inundated with essay and dissertation writing, almost all hours logged on at a coffee table.  I didn’t CRAVE to write…and in the process, lost a little “soul.”

I started this blog as a response to my 101 things in 1001 Days, a challenge to myself to write more. Who knew that it would redeem something essential about who I am. That in asking questions and exploring, and documenting my experiences, I would embrace all the grace available to me and feel connected, known, as if I matter. It’s not about the end product, the goal (although I did write a novel this year!) . There part of this poem by Mary Oliver, it reads

Instructions for Living A life

Pay Attention

Be Astonished

Tell About It.

In my 20s, it seemed that life presented me with too many open doors, and I was so anxious about everything I chose, the carving out of THIS IS WHO I AM.  Writing doesn’t tell me who I am (a “good” person, a “lazy” housekeeper) or what I am not (“tall”, “a night-owl). It just is. It doesn’t lead anywhere except deeper into me. A me I often don’t like, and a me that I can laugh at, and wonder at, and scream at. Writing solves many things for me, but not everything. Sort of like love. Sort of like faith.   

 

So I write

One thought on “My Cravings: Why I Write

  1. Before I could hold a pen, I told stories. Long, long stories, mostly about stuff like talking apples and magic thread, stories that sometimes never really ended. (When I got bored, I’d just start a new one.) Amusingly for my family, I tended to do this out loud, whether or not I knew anyone was listening. They’d be sitting in the dining room with company and hear this little voice floating up from the basement, on and on… As soon as I could write, I started committing the stories to paper, and then I just never stopped. 🙂

    Writing (the creative kind, not the kind I do for clients) is my motivation, aspiration, passion, self-expression, edification, therapy, and fulfillment all rolled into one. I can’t think of anything else in my life that can be all of that to me at once.

    It was called graduate school and I tended to be inundated with essay and dissertation writing, almost all hours logged on at a coffee table. I didn’t CRAVE to write…and in the process, lost a little “soul.”

    This is why I didn’t go for a PhD in psychology. I knew the deal. It was either give up psych. for writing or give up writing for psych. I knew I couldn’t do the latter. I’m impressed by anyone who is hard-working and dedicated enough to earn that doctoral degree. It’s a demanding course of study.

    Would love to hear what your novel is about and if you plan on looking for a publisher!

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