Today I was asked to pen my response to a statement. A request that in all my years of writing I have never been asked to talk about or write about. The request, respond to the statement: Why I write.
“Why I write. I write because I can. I write because I can not. I write because of what I see and feel around me. I write because of the people I meet, the stories I hear. I write to understand. I write to relive. I write because there are stories that need to be told. Stories that matter. Stories getting lost in the rapid pace of our everyday. Lost between the real and surreal. The tweets, the updates, the comments, and likes; the videos, images and sound bytes — all immersed in story, yours and mine. Stories not captured or shared. Stories lost to the archive of now. I write to remember. I write to share, to frame the world in words. The precious moments lost in our everyday rush for more now. I write to hold back time. To freeze it. I write to press the stop button on the Internet. The button no one has invented yet. I write to remember. I write to create. I write so we can learn from ourselves and each other. So we can relearn the beauty of lives lived in story.Our lives. I write so I can deconstruct lives lost to technology, stories sidelined to statistics. I write to share, to open eyes, both yours and mine. I write to find. I write to discover. I write to uncover the stages we each stand on and the roles we each play. I write so I can see through the eyes of another and you mine. I write because in writing I am bare down to my soul. I am vulnerable. I write to let go, to change and be changed. I write to unlearn, learn and relearn. I write where I am. I write where I have been. I write so we can see. I write so I can be me.“
The request came from my writing teacher Dina, during a class I am doing on “Developing Your Voice” at the Writers Studio at the University of Chicago, Grahame School. Dina asked us to read, ‘Why I Write’ by Terry Tempest Williams, and then to emulate the piece in our own voice with our own reasoning during 15 minutes of free writing in her class.
Why I write, as a writer interested in social mediated ways of working, learning and living, I share with you.
Why do you write?