Why I Write

August 02, 2012

In 2009, I wrote a post about why I started this website. In that post, I wrote:

This writing represents my best potential.

I wrote about the person that I was in 2008 when I began Medicinal Marzipan, how the journey transformed my life – providing me with a home for my belief and fears, and a community to share my thoughts with.

In preparing myself to migrate this beloved blog to a new, more adult home, I have been combing through each and every post that I’ve written, choosing what to keep and what to lovingly tuck away, for good. It’s like moving into a new house, the time you spend deciding what gets to travel with you and what you have to take to the Swap Shack.

In reading that old post, I realized that in many ways I addressed why I blogged, but I inadequately addressed why I wrote to begin with.

My mother taught me how to write when I was a little kid. She ran a writing group that met once a week, and she would deliver prompts that we would write about for 15-30 minutes before sharing all that we had written with the group. I loved the prompts. I loved how I could use the same prompt again and again and something new would develop on the page.

I loved how my words sounded – strung together and magically representative of my internal monologue. 

I wasn’t weird on the page, I wasn’t too much or too complicated, the way I often felt when I was speaking out loud. My thoughts were collected. My tone was modulated.

When I wrote no one accused me of being too emotional or difficult.

I wrote so that I could figure out what I was thinking.

I have written here many times before about the power of re-authoring painful experiences or those moments when you have felt powerless, but I very rarely talk about the clarity that comes form writing about our best experiences or our successes. The way that you can use your words to distill what it was about that moment that felt so perfect.

So that you cultivate more moments like that. 

So that you can pinpoint exactly what that you want or need, writing drafts of the same moment only to more adeptly grasp the words that describe exactly what you want out of your life. 

For example: When I wake up in the morning I want to feel as though my body is solid and strong, with definitive edges and not the creeping feeling of where does the room end and where do I begin. I want to feel my feet solidly above my body – feet, knees, hips, shoulders, head – one over the other and working in perfect unison. I want to wake up and wonder what I can create, without the fear about how will I pay my rent on the periphery of my consciousness. I want to dedicate my full attention to the people that I am lucky to have in my life, and I want my social time to feel like a garden party, with croquet, candy-colored party dresses, and prosecco. I want to feel as if my life is embracing me with both hands, holding me tight with the promise of a better tomorrow, always, and that it is a safe place for me to grow and laugh. I want to lovingly participate in the life-long process of becoming who I already am.

This is not the first time that I’ve written about what I want out of my life. It’s not the tenth or the fortieth.

I revise the narrative of what I want out of my life monthly, pulling the drafts out of a box that I hold my hope in, and rewriting it – adding, subtracting, and distilling. 

I write, because it is the best way that I’ve found to figure out where I want to go.

Who I want to be when in love.

What I want my relationship with my body to feel like.

How I want to create my concept of home.

What a safe and healthy boundary looks like for me.

How I want to relate to money.

What kind of messages I want to tell my children.

I write, because sometimes it is less complicated that speaking or breathing.

Why do you write?  What do you write?  How had writing changed your life?

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