Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why I Write

Words have infinite power.

It was with words that the world was created.

It was through words that we now remember ages long past from vision or memory.

It's with words that we convey thoughts and emotions.

I've always loved words.

Reading them. Writing them. Spelling them. Studying them.

I was the kid who made her own spelling list in first grade because she liked to spell.

I was the student who chose to read Emma for her sixth grade book report, and had to ask the teacher what a barouche-landau was because it wasn't in the dictionary.

I was the one who turned in an eight page research paper because she couldn't stop writing at the required five.

It was in high school that I started to realize that my affinity for writing could evolve into a career.

I started to write with an idea that perhaps I wasn't the only one who'd read what I had to say.

In some ways, this was a good thing. It made me more critical of myself and my work.

In others, though, it was a curse. Until then I had written to please myself. The occasional teacher held sway over my musings, but all in all I wrote what I wanted to because I loved to write.

But I became more and more concerned about what other people thought of my writing. There is great value in feedback from those who can help you sharpen your skill, but you don't write for an editor.

I had become so focused on how many comments I could get or how a certain audience would respond to something I wrote that writing was no longer enjoyable.

I had a specific style I had to stick to. Certain topics. A consistent tone.

And I questioned my identity as a writer.

I didn't like writing anymore.

And it was because I was restricting myself to fit the preferences of others.

Finally, I was fed up with it.

If I wanted to write a poem, I'd write a poem.

I could write a short story as a villain if I wanted to.

My ramblings didn't have to have a point.

The writing of them was the point.

When I started treating words like friends again, free to be themselves, and not a slave to extraneous wishes, they flowed from my fingertips like water.

Finally, I'd found the purpose of writing.

I'd found my reason.

I write because writing is in me. I write because words pile up in my head and it feels fit to burst if I don't get them out.

I write because I want to write.

Simple as that.

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