You may have been like me. You may have always needed to write.
You may have been like me and you had five children under eight years old and all you could think about is a story. Or maybe you wondered why if you could tell a funny story about a bunny at bath time, why you couldn’t tell something more complicated and interesting for others? So in your desperation, you checked a book out of the library and you read it while you were nursing the baby. Or when you sat at the playground or watched the children play in the back yard. You thought about writing even though you were supposed to be watching to see if your son ate dirt again.
I write because there was something deep inside of me that longed to create.
I’m not the only one who had that something.
We create because we are hungry for expression. We create because we know that life is more than folding laundry and planning dinner and reminding the three year old, as patiently as you can, that she really needs a nap. We create because we have these active imaginations that aren’t happy with the story about the bunny. We create because we see bits and pieces of beauty in the world around us and we want to gather them all up together in our arms and reshape them into something wonderful. We create because we know that if we don’t, it would feel like smothering our souls. We create because we’ve always had a box of crayons or an idea of a story, or a wonder about us. We create because we so easily feel the nuances of pain and sadness, of glory and love. We create because we must.
We write because if we don’t, we’ll be defeated by the forces of darkness around us.
We write because if we don’t, the words will swirl around in our brains and our souls and eat us alive from the inside out. We write because if we don’t, then as we are exposed more and more to pain and relief, hope and despair, passion and stoicism, we’ll have no way to process it. We write because we have read the words of the great writers and we want to imitate them, even if it means doing it feebly. We write because there are people whose stories we want to tell; they have become old friends in our hearts and we think others should know them. We write because we saw something magical and we want to tell the world about it. We write because our fingers love being on the keyboard. We write because we know when a bouquet of words comes together well, their aroma lasts longer than flowers.
We write because we don’t what we would do with ourselves if we didn’t.
We write because we don’t like the messiness of the bits and pieces of things scattered in our homes, our computer’s desktops and in our brains. We have no places to put them, no vision of what they could be, no organization or plan. They are messy and imperfect, but these little creations are ours to cherish, not unlike the children we snuggle with at bedtime. We write to make order of them.