“Writing has tremendous energy. If you find a reason for it, any reason, it seems that rather than negate the act of writing, it makes you burn deeper and glow clearer on the page. Ask yourself, why do I write?” Natalie Goldberg
If I don’t sell you on Natalie Goldberg’s writing books, then you likely aren’t interested in writing. But if you are, note to self, this woman will motivate. Have you written the reasons you like to write?
1. I like leather-bound empty journals in my arm so I appear scholarly.
2. I like to stare at my hands.
3. I like to have an excuse to sit in coffee shops for hours.
4. I don’t want the years to pass forgotten.
5. I want to share my world with others.
This list may or may not be true.
I could not have written it more clearly on this one reason to write myself…
“Why do I write? I write because I kept my mouth shut all my life and the secret ego truth is I want to live eternally and I want my people to live forever. I hurt at our impermanence, at the passing of time. At the edge of all my joy is the creeping agony that this will pass…
I write because I am alone and move through the world alone. No one will know what has passed through me, and even more amazing, I don’t know. Now that it’s spring I can’t remember what it felt like to be in forty below. Even with the heat on, you cold feel mortality screaming through the thin walls of your house.
I write because I am crazy, schizophrenic, and I know it and accept it and I have to do something with it other than go to the loony bin.
I write because there are stories that people have forgotten to tell, because I am a woman trying to stand up in my life. I write because to form a word with your lips and tongue or think a thing and then dare to write it down so you can never take it back is the most powerful thing I know. I am trying to come alive, to find the distances in my own recesses and bring them forward and give them colour and form.
I write out of total incomprehension that even love isn’t enough and that finally writing might be all I have and that it isn’t enough that I can never get it all down, and besides, there are times when I have to step away from the table, notebook, and turn to face my own life. Then there are times when it’s only coming to the notebook that I truly do face my own life.
And I write out of hurt and how to make hurt okay; how to make myself strong and come home, and it may be the only real home I’ll ever have.”
Powerful stuff, no? This would be one reason to write. Why do you write?