Inspired by Terry Tempest Williams
One of my professors handed a sheet of paper with the words of Terry Tempest Williams typed out neatly across. It bore the same title as the one above and she listed all the beautiful reasons why she wrote. I highlighted the life out of that paper. I resonated with what she had to say and I was inspired to write out why I write.
Why do I spend so much time thinking, planning, and stressing over what I feel I need to say through words? Why do I break myself apart for words on a page or screen? Why do I write?
I started writing in a diary, just like every other pre-teen girl, and then I stopped. I didn't like the voice that I heard coming from the page and I didn't like what I had to say. It seemed so pointless to write down what was going on in my life. What was it going to change? If no one else was going to read it, why should I bother writing it down? That's not the real reason. The real reason I stopped writing in my diary was because I forgot about it. I forgot about it and I didn't want anyone to read it, so I let myself forget. When I found my old diary a few years back, I ripped it apart and burned it. I never wanted to read those words again and I never wanted to write so without purpose for as long as I lived. Why do I write?
A year and a half ago, someone very special in my life handed me a pretty journal. In that journal, I started my to-do list and that's all I ever meant for it to be, a book of the things I had to cross off. Unfortunately, it evolved into something a lot more invasive. I started listing out things that I liked, places I wanted to go, and frozen yogurt combinations I had tried. Then I started taking notes. I took notes in church, in certain classes, and in public about the people that walked by. The worst was when I started writing everything that popped into my head. I wrote when something greatly affected me, when something made me angry, and when something made me ecstatic. I flew through that journal and I bought another one. When that one was finished, I bought another one. When people started to take notice, they bought me journals as gifts and soon, I learned how to make them on my own. A year and a half later, I'm on my sixth journal. My life ended and started with a journal. Why do I write?
Because I now had the compulsive need to write, so I started a blog with my roommate. Nothing fancy, we just go around and ask people we meet a question and put their answers online (The Wandering People). I write all of that in my journal. Unsatisfied, I started this blog that is named after my obsession with journals; Blank Books, anyone? I go through journals in two to three months and I burden my shoulder with the job of carrying it around in the purses that I meticulously searched for because my journal just had to fit inside. My whole life revolved around this journal, so much so that written on the inside of each cover is instructions on how to get it back to me if I lose it as well as a promised reward of $5. But why do I write?
I write because I hate to cry. Instead of shedding tears and falling apart with the threat of someone seeing me, I lay out my broken self on paper like a blue print that has no real instructions on how to build me back up. I write because I'm not a very good singer. I can write a song and hear it in my head and that's enough. I write because when I look back at these journals from time to time, I get know me. I understand how I feel and I don't seem as bad as I thought I was. I write because I'm not good at very much else and I am okay with that. I write because maybe that's what I was created to do. I write because it's scary to think of what will happen to me if I stop. Why do you write? Why do you do what you love to do?