Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why Write?

A friend commented recently that what I write is very personal, but my medium is very public. I think she's quietly concerned that I am making myself vulnerable. She's right. But I've always been told to write what I know, and the only things I know are what are in my head and in my heart.

So why write? I guess first because I can't not write. Its something I've done all my life -- poetry, essays, short stories. Life makes more sense to me when it's on paper. Dark thoughts and feelings evaporate when released into the ether.

There's more to it, though. I believe that in the grand scheme of things I may be unique but not particularly special. That's not a bad thing. It's just that I'm not a celebrity or political figure or leader of some sort worth noting, and therefore whatever I write may be meaningful only to a very small circle of friends and acquaintances. In addition, I believe that people are fundamentally the same, especially those with similar experiences. I find solace on our commonality, and perhaps my little essays will be a touchstone for someone else, somehow.

Finally, there's a sort of validation in the comments and responses I get. When I hear that something I wrote touched someone, or made her laugh until she cried, I can glimpse for a moment the many strands of of the tapestry that weaves us all together.

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