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Why Write, Anyway?
By PeggySue Wells
Last night, or should I say this morning, I dropped into bed at 2:00 a.m. What possesses me to spend long hours at the computer when my mailbox boasts more rejections than paychecks? If my labors are not putting groceries on the table or contributing to the mortgage payment, why do I write, anyway?
I write because it is a bridge of communication between you and me. Through this work of my hands I reveal my thoughts, express ideas, and convey dreams. I write to share my heart. I write to connect with people.
Writing is a dance that is sometimes swift and electrifying, sometimes slow and intimate. For me, writing is a vital part of relationship with individuals, and with the larger world I am privileged to be a part of.
Painting With Words
Writing is a creative art form. I watch my artist daughter as she painstakingly mixes watercolors and oils, reaching, searching for the perfect hue. I sit in front of my computer palette, swirling through the thesaurus, dabbing a stronger verb over a weak one, highlighting a bright adjective with a vivid one, rewording sentence structure to reflect a compelling mood.
Then as if it’s a savory sourdough, I put the mix aside for a time. The text bubbles and ferments in my thoughts. Returning to the computer, I frequently knead the language for a better recipe. Occasionally I am pleasantly surprised to see how well this mixture of phrases blended to produce the desired texture and aroma.
Like a satisfying surf and turf, some projects are fashioned from a partnership. Writing with a kindred spirit is double the fun. The combined creativity of two artists with very different talents is marinated together into a nourishing whole. In reality, all published writing is a salt and pepper partnership as a writer brings the main course and editor and publisher catch the vision and season it.
My writing is an intricate weaving of carefully weighed and selected emotion-charged words. Another daughter plaits fiber with dye, spinning wool into yarn, and knitting yarn into gifts of scarves and afghans. I can’t sew and maintain my Christianity so I revisit my manuscript to untangle knotted grammar and iron out wrinkled sentences before dedicating my gift to someone dear.
Exploring With Words
I write to know. Exploring and researching expands my horizons. It gratifies my hunger to understand this incredible and zany world we live in together, and to appreciate fellow travelers on this challenging journey of life.
I write to be known. Not in terms of fame, though like my son once said, “I wouldn’t mind being famous.” Rather, through this craft I am open, transparent, and vulnerable.
I write to give. Writing allows me to encourage and inspire others far beyond my immediate sphere of influence. It permits me to possibly be the wind under the wings of another who is weary, disheartened, and disillusioned.
I enjoy both the challenges and victories of the craft because it satisfies my spirit. I write because it is an essential. Though I wouldn’t mind a paycheck. Or two.