Why I Write…

I have shared this excerpt before it’s from Terry Tempest Williams one of the countries best writers of creative non-fiction. My greedy brain has consumed her every printed word, over and over again. My favorite books by Terry are “Leap” and “Refuge”.

I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to the music that opens my heart. I write to quell the pain. I write to migrating birds with the hubris of language. I write as a form of translation. I write with the patience of melancholy in winter. I write because it allows me to confront that which I do not know. I write as an act of faith. I write as an act of slowness. I write to record what I love in the face of loss. I write because it makes me less fearful of death. I write as an exercise in pure joy. I write as one who walks on the surface of a frozen river beginning to melt. I write out of anger and into my passion. I write from stillness of night anticipating- always anticipating. I write to listen. I write out of silence. I write to soothe the voices shouting inside me, outside me, all around. I write because of the humor of our condition as humans. I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it the way I talk long walks. I write to bow to the wilderness. I write because it can create a path in darkness. I write because as a child I spoke a different language. I write with a knife carving each word through the generosity of trees, I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine. I write by grace and grit. I write out of indigestion. I write when I am starving. I write when I am full. I write to the dead. I write out of the body. I write to put food on the table. I write on the other side of procrastination. I write for children we never had. I write for a love of ideas. I write for the surprise of a beautiful sentence. I write with the belief of alchemists. I write knowing I will always fail. I write knowing words will always fall short. I write knowing I can be killed by my own words, stabbed by syntax, crucified by both understanding and misunderstanding. I write out of ignorance. I write by accident. I write past the embarrassment of exposure. I keep writing and suddenly, I am overcome by sheer indulgence, the madness, the meaninglessness, the ridiculousness of this list. I trust nothing, especially myself, and slide headfirst into the familiar abyss of doubt and humiliation and threaten to push the delete button on my way down, or madly erase each line, pick up the paper and rip it to shreds -and then I realize, it doesn’t matter, words are always a gamble, words are splinters of cut glass. I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.


What about you — why do you write?

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7 Responses to “Why I Write…”

  1. TaraDharma Says:

    well, i write because it helps me make sense of the world and my place in it. Reading "Art & Fear" by Ted Orland, a local artist. You might really relate to it: Observations on the Perils (and rewards) of ARTMAKING, Works for all creative expression: writing, painting, photography.

    "Artists don't get down to work unit the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working." Stephen DeStaebler

  2. This is something I have been thinking about for a few weeks. What I have come up with so far: I write because for so many years I didn’t or was it that I just couldn’t. I write to free myself from my own fears. I write so I can be accountable to myself. I write to track my emotions. I write to fill my emptiness. I write so I can heal my inner child. I write to get through the days and nights. I write to drain my brain. I keep writing so I can know myself.

  3. I originally started a blog to try to join some of my friends from different chapters of my life (college, last job, home town, church) into what was happening in my life now.

    But I also write because the thoughts in my head are usually circular, they just keep going round and round with no conclusion. But when I write things down, they seem to be more linear. I start with one thing and by the end it seems to evolve into some sort of resolution. Or at least, something else to think and write about.

  4. I write because I must, because the words inside me would explode if I left them unwritten. I write to feel the flow of ink across paper, to take my thoughts and refine them, polish them, create something readable. I write to be read. I write to heal myself, to make sense of a crazy world, to learn who I am. I write because I have no choice. It’s in my blood.

  5. I write to be true.

  6. tribegirl909 Says:

    I write because it helps me to remember…people in my life who are no longer…gone or not living…doesn’t matter how they left. I write because it helps me to see how I have evolved. Journals full of personal and love life angst from my 20s. Events that happened…people who have had babies, people who got married or had commitment ceremonies. Women whom I was madly crushed out on whether it ever went anywhere or not. It takes me back, it moves me forward…it is what and who I am and how I remember moments and people that have been important.

  7. I write to release the heavy my psyche is often thronged with…I write because there is no greater purpose for my thoughts other than allowing them to dance in open space….I write to bridge the gap of my[in]sanity~

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