Today, I’m going off the grid and not doing the prompt. Instead, I’m writing about an important topic: writing.
Seems a bit counter-intuitive, but ehh.
Today apparently is National Day of Writing in the US. It’s probably one of those holidays that someone came up with and blew up thanks to social media, but ah well. Writing is important, nonetheless.
Twitter has the hastag #WhyIWrite going, and lots of people have shared on it. Some peoples’ answers were witty and funny, some were poignant and emotional and soul-bearing.
Which is basically what writing is to me: baring my soul.
I write to give a voice to the stories I need to hear.
I write because it gives my soul room to breathe- If I left my thoughts and my stories in my head, I would be swallowed whole by them.
I write about what stories or notions I can’t get out of my head.
Or something I need to get off my chest- a problem, a hurt, a fear.
I write because some things I struggle to say out loud. Writing gives me clarity. It provides me time to think my thoughts and feelings through before blurting them out.
I write because sometimes things don’t need to be left unsaid. Writing gives me an outlet to say what scares me to death.
I write when something strikes me- something that makes me think a new way, or when something grips at my heart.
I write to make sense of what my heart feels.
I also write because I believe there is power in stories. Mine, yours, others. Fiction and non-fiction.
I’ve always had stories running through my head. I remember making storybooks in 2nd grade (and I bet my nana still has some of them). I’ve always loved writing stories, both ones I’ve made up, and the stories in my own life. The stories of my own life- the funny, happy ones and the tragic ones- they have shaped me, and it’s important to me to give them a voice. I have stories I’ve made up to get out of my own story at times; or, I’ve used writing to try to rewrite my own stories, to give them a different ending. Writing has always been something I’ve been relatively ‘good’ at; it’s always been my favorite way to express myself. Some people use art to articulate their emotions; some music, others theatre. For me, it’s always been writing, it’s always been storytelling.
Stories have the power to shape us, change us, move us, save us. Words have more power than we give them credit for.
Words, stories, books… they’ve saved my life.
They’ve sent me on a roller coaster of emotions: happy, sad, angry, shocked. They’ve left me speechless, or they never let me stop talking. They have made me laugh on one page, sob on the next; it’s amazing what the power of a good story can awaken in us.
Stories have made me feel normal, less alone in my journey. And by writing, I hope I can do that, too. I hope the stories I write help people like words have always helped me.
I love a good story.
Which is why i write, most of all, I think– because good stories deserve to be told. I write to tell good stories- and to give my stories a voice. Hopefully a voice someone else needs to hear.
This quote has been the tagline to my blog for many years, and it will always ring true to me:
By writing, you are saying to God, ‘I agree with you, you gave me a voice, and the gift was not in vain’. ~Donald Miller
May the gifts of our writing never be in vain.