Recently at one of my writers’ group meetings, we did an introspective writing exercise on why we write. Here’s my essay:
I write because I have stories in my head that need to get out. When I began writing, I thought it necessary to share all the words, and it worked for awhile. Now, after writing for several years, I find that I have loads of stories and poems that may never see the light of day–including a four book middle grade series. This disappointed me at first, but I’m coming to realize it’s not so important to share everything, as it’s not so important to do all the things. I’ve come to learn in my writing process that I have put too much pressure on myself. I have felt a failure in most of my endeavors since I stopped being graded in schools. I realize that I have valued myself on how others thought of me, and even subconsciously need approval when I “got serious” and shared my works. Now, in this season of my writing journey, I’m grateful for the soul search and realization that because I have so many ideas, I can find value for myself in that.
Since the pressure has lifted to write all the things, or the things I have set goals for, now I can take time to enjoy the creative process of playing with words again. I can roll them over my tongue in rhythm and rhyme, tasting the sounds as they exit my mouth. I can hear the alliteration and consonance as they surround me, and when I listen, I am able to turn them over in my head for double and triple meanings. I can connect irony and humor, and then apply it to the problem of the day.
I write to express emotion.
I write to show a scene in the imagination.
I write to think and organize thoughts.
I write to bring joy to others.
I write to pray.
I write to observe.
I write to record my observations, which helps me figure out this crazy world.
I write to thank.
I write to heal.
I write to give.
I write to celebrate and congratulate.
I write to sympathize.
I write because when I open my creative faucet, I delight in the stories that flow out.
I write to delight God.
Maybe I do still write for approval after all, but only now do I recognize that it’s from myself and God, not from others.
Picture: cc0 at Pixabay.