The ever lovely Rachel at Nephesh Wellness tagged me to share about “why I write” so of course I felt compelled to share my own experiences on writing. It has been a joy to see other’s sharing in why they write. I particularly love my friend Jennifer’s response (but maybe Im just biased because I love her so much)
During our recent move, I found all my old journals.
First the white and black cow print ones, worn at the edges, filled with words and drawings from 10 & 11 year old Genny. Writing prompts from my teacher and secret thoughts I taped shut so she wouldn’t read them. I wrote about a boy I liked and about how I thought my parents were splitting up. I wrote about how badly I wanted to be popular and liked.
Digging deeper in the box I found my teenage journals. A few contained just poetry. Mostly words I wrote after I would smoke some weed with my friends and they would fall asleep. Alone with my insomnia and my buzz I would write and write. Other journals held more personal stuff. The lists of things I put in my mouth and then purged. Calculations of my worth by what I ate and what I weighed. I wrote about wanting to be different, to not hate myself anymore, and wondering how in the world could I make myself stop self-destructing. In those pages you can find my attempts at recovery, words from my therapist about what to do when I wanted to cut or purge, ways to find beauty when I felt caged in.
The digital age struck shortly after that and at age 17 I began an online journal, the first of three. From age 19 to age 25 I had a live journal (please don’t judge) I wrote my deepest thoughts, my hurts, my joys. I met several women on there that I am lucky enough to be friends with still. I met my best friend who I have loved for the past 11 years.
Then there was a long period of silence until this June. A few failed blogs where I couldn’t find the ability to really root down and continually write.
What is it that compels me to put pen to paper or to place my fingers upon this keyboard and write and write and write?
Is it because the words rise up in my brain like gluttonous koi fish in a pond?
Is it because sometimes these feelings feel too heavy to bear on my own?
Is it because I want to cultivate conversation about things that I think matter?
I don’t know.
I write because it feels good.
I write because something happens out of the blue and I know I need to write about it. Sometimes I let it simmer in my brain for awhile, sometimes I rush to my computer to begin to type it out. The bare bones of a moment in time that will slowly form into something with more substance, something with weight and meaning.
I write because I feel alone sometimes.
I write because the joy in my heart feels too beautiful not to share.
I write because I can be an over-sharer.
I write because sometimes I don’t know how else to tell anyone what I’m struggling with.
I write because I hope someone will write back their own shared story. A meeting of minds across a computer screen.
I write because sometimes I think I’m not bad at it.
I write because some important stuff doesn’t get voiced enough and I want to scream it out loud for the world to notice.
I write because honestly it has saved me. I started this blog after a couple of people pushing me to write about this experience of being sick. I had spent several months by myself in bed and suddenly I had a way to connect with a whole lot of people. People who said “YES I feel this way too” or people that said “I never knew what that was like, tell me more” I honestly wanted to kill myself in February and March and April and May because the pain was too much and now I don’t. Same amount of pain but I don’t feel so alone.
My writing can be selfish or it can be because I want to help someone else not feel so horribly alone.
You might like the way I write or maybe you don’t. Doesn’t really matter because I think in this period of my life that writing is how I can keep digging myself out of the abyss.
That is why I write.
Why do you?