The other day someone asked me why I write and that got me thinking. “Why do I write?” My initial response was “because I have to.” I know there’s more but “because I have to” is at the core of it. Below are my initial thoughts about why I write.
First, I write because I have things that I want to say. I have purposely positioned my cancer recurrence blog as the story of a survivor who sees that cancer is a gift as well as a beast. I have been brutally honest about my feelings but I chose that. Cancer is about facing death while living fully in the process and I wanted to capture both aspects. I love it that my friends and acquaintances follow it and I’m also honored that complete strangers or other cancer survivors find support and nourishment in it.
Secondly, I write those because I have a vision that I want to put out there. I believe that as humans we have capacities far beyond what we ever dream possible and those capacities are lying in wait for us to tap into them. I write to speak to that vision as well as to illustrate what a more expansive life might look like. My short story “The Decision” tells about a young woman with a lover in another timeline. And in “Angelica’s Place,” a young child sees other dimensions yet her mother tries to stifle her gift and make her be “normal.”
Thirdly, I write to get clarity on my own thinking. My initial drafts are often long-winded and all over the place but as I refine my writing I refine my thinking. My goal, in the blogs especially, is to come out with a compact gem about life, its lessons for me, and its possible application for others.
Next, I write because I have to. I have no fantasies of writing the Cheryl Strayer novel or of appearing on Oprah’s Book of the Month list. I honestly could care less about that. For me writing is both therapeutic and nourishing. Like taking a word bath.
…..and, I have to admit that there is a final reason why I write. Knowing that I got the cancer back, I live with the realization that I might get it back again so I write because I’d like to leave a legacy. I think that’s why it is so important to me that my words are out there on line. If I’m gone…those words will still be out there and, hopefully they will touch someone.
In an earlier blog I mentioned that I was taking an on-line Portland Community College class on Word Press, the blogging tool that I use with a goal of putting my non-blog writing on line – my essays, short stories etc. This is it and I invite you to check it out. I’m still learning the web technic so hopefully it will work for you. Feel free to look into it if you’re interested. No pressure…and only if you want. My favorite things are my two short stories but the essays reveal interesting tidbits about who I am.
So thanks for reading my writing and take care.