Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Do I Write?

In a fiction workshop, the instructor, Lalita Noronha, asked us to ask ourselves “Why do I write?”

My first thought was I write because I like to write. I believe I do it well, and so I follow the law of attraction and gravitate towards what flows more easily. I don’t sing or paint, because I don’t do either of those things well and don’t want to fill my life with the frustrations of trying. Is that the real reason, though? Do I write because it is easy? Do I write because I’m lazy? Hardly.

When you really get into it, writing is work. It is work I love, but why do I love it enough to keep at it? That was the question I tried to answer.

I was surprised to find myself jotting into my notebook that writing makes me feel more organized. My experiences don’t slip away, my thoughts are saved. Without writing, I’m just living with no record of it. With writing, I know I am here.

I sew. Once I took up sewing, I noticed how clothes are put together. Now that I write, I notice how life is put together. My friend Nelle Stanton pointed out to me that nothing comes from seeds until they crack. For me, it is my writing that breaks the seed.

Writing has helped me through some difficult times, but I don’t just leave it for that. Writing also enhances the good times and gives me a heightened awareness of how great things can be. It shows me the progress I have made toward becoming myself, toward becoming the version of me that I respect the most.

The more I am myself the more I have to offer others. The more I write; the more I am.

7 comments:

Eleanor Stanton said...

"Living without a record" is a wonderful way to put it. I, too, feel (and fear) that my life just slips through my fingers and is too easily forgotten if I don't capture and sift it through writing about it. Writing forces me to reflect on my life, which seems to slow the hurried rush of my usual schedule.

I love remembering, through your post, how many times my writing has shown me how great things can be and how great they already are.

Nelle

Ellie O'Leary said...

Nelle, I love remembering our conversations at the lake last summer. Based on our poetry, well your poetry and my running at the month about it, I have decided to teach a course called Poetry Phobia at Senior College.That will also be the title of my poetry session of Writing Thru It at Pyramid in July.

jayda said...

I know I read this on FB, but you've asked a valid and important question, one for which I'm sure each writer will have a different reply. Think this would make a great blog subject for all writers. For me it's a combination of things. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

clairee said...

Hi Ellie. Please keep blogging...I adore your stories.

Ellie O'Leary said...

Thank you clairee, I'm just about to do a new post this weekend.

TirzahLaughs said...

What you'll also find is the 'why' changes, grows and shrinks depending on what you need.

Writing is the always fit suit...that grows to fit your needs.

Tirz

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