Why Write?

While running with Maggie and Teresa, Maggie asked, ““Why do you write, Nancy?”

I’m slow to articulate answers to big questions, and that was a biggee. So I hemmed and hawed until Teresa said, “Nancy, you write because it’s fun.” Hmm. She’s right. It is fun – unless writer’s block builds a fortress in my brain, and I’m forced to start cleaning.

Last week, I described my July posting challenge to my friend Kim, and Kim asked, “Do you really want that pressure?”

Hmm. Writing creates about as much tension as completing that 500 piece jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table. It’s more of a compulsion or a magnetism combined with pure pondering. Hmm.

Like Mary Oliver says, “Be fascinated. Tell about it.” I’m trying, Mary. It’s just so perplexing to find the words to capture those amazing moments.  So I post anyway, even if it’s not “good enough.” It’s never quite right.

I write out of humor and heartache, sadness and awe – to feel connected to the human experience. I write to laugh, and I write to vent. I write to understand, and I write to battle isolation. I write out of love with a hope to share it, bottle it, and open it later.

Beth Foran taught me to give witness to the wackiness of our idiosyncratic behavior – a gift I will always cherish. I write to bear witness to absurdity and to foster forgiveness, of self and of others.

Language is beautiful but so inadequate. Words are limited and confining, yet some authors and poets create eloquent metaphors, astute parallels and wondrous imagery out of bare bones letters. How do they do it? Teach me.

Love, life, grief, celebration, child rearing and child leaving. Marriage, friendship, family, running and nature. Mindfulness and meaning; presence and purpose. Disappointment, joy, and kindred soul mates who reveal the beauty of being all in.

Why write?

Out of sheer gratefulness to God.


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