Why do you write?

This ended up being another list. Sorry. Here goes.

  • Because my grandfather did. He wrote amusing poems for every occasion. And even though he died when I was only two, I have his works in his handwriting. And my uncle wrote for a Los Angeles newspaper in the 1950s. But I know I always admired good writers and aspired to be like them. Whether the writing gene or the writing role models are responsible, I’m not sure.
  • Because, for me, experiences aren’t cemented into my memory until I’ve written them out. I share in case they might help others navigate theirs. 
  • To let others know they aren’t alone. Years ago, when I wrote those (thoughtful, well-reasoned, lefty) opinion pieces for the local newspaper, my introverted husband couldn’t understand why I did it. Why I’d put myself (and him by association) out there. He said, “You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind!” I argued back, “I know, but I’m letting others know they aren’t the only ones.”
  • To leave some little pieces of me behind when I’m gone.
  • By writing, I learn what I really think. That’s the big meta reason. I’m not a fast thinker. I’m not good at thinking on my feet and often respond too sharply, too sarcastically in the moment, and say something stupid or worse, mean. Writing gives me time to clarify, sharpen (or soften) if needed. Quite selfishly, the act of putting my feelings and thoughts into words allows me to make a good impression, and to look smarter. A bit like checking the mirror and putting on lipstick before leaving the house.

So, there you have it, with my apologies if you’ve gotten too much from this Bloganuary Challenge. Six days down and (only) twenty-five to go.

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