Why I write

I’ve been thinking about why I write.

Almost a decade after I started blogging, I find myself wondering why I still show up in this space and commit my words to the screen, sending them out into the ether. I suppose I’m guided by E.M. Forster’s ‘only connect’, and the hope that my words will connect me to others, to readers, to you (hello!). It’s true that I write in order to share my thoughts and speak to a world beyond my everyday, but most of all, I write because I love to write- I always have.

As a child, I wrote stories, filling notebook after notebook, as my sons now do themselves. As a teen, I wrote letters, daily, mostly to my best friend. Although we spent all our time together at school we still found that when we were apart we had more to say, more to share, spilling our hearts onto the page, and exchanging carefully folded secrets with our morning greetings. We were inseparable, but one day her letters stopped coming. She was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 18. I was, will always be, devastated, and have rarely written a letter since.

I didn’t stop writing, though. I couldn’t. At that time I was living for a year in Thailand. My most precious possession was an A4 hardback notebook,e its cover meticulously covered in a rainbow patchwork of pictures. It was my diary, and I wrote in it religiously every single day of my trip, moving on when the pages were complete to notebook after notebook, each with a new patchwork cover and pages eventually filled to bursting with my enthusiastic scrawl. 

After that came five years of university, when writing – like reading- became something that I was compelled to do: essays, dissertations, presentations. I still loved to write, but I wasn’t writing just for the love of it. In the end, it was blogging that brought me back – the pen and the page became the cursor and the screen. In my first ever post, I wrote that I wanted this blog to be ‘a vessel to contain the words that come tumbling out of my head and the pictures that accompany them. A place in which to share. A blog of one’s own.’

I’m never more fully myself than when the words begin to flow, my thoughts cohere and my fingers begin to fly. I’m addicted to the moment of bright clarity when sentences come together to tell a truth, to the satisfaction of having poured something of myself onto the page.

I write in order to free my thoughts: to fit them together in a way that makes sense to me. I write to define who I am, to express what I want to say, to preserve what I love. I write as practice because one day – maybe- I’d like to write a book (just putting it out there, universe!), and I write because time and time again, writing has saved me.

If you have enjoyed this post, and you’d like to receive my monthly letter, Small Stories, you can sign up here.

For more thoughts on writing and blogging, I recommend these posts:

Why 2019 is The Year of The Blog by Emma

Ten Things I Have Learned About Blogging So Far by Huma

Why ‘Niching’ Your Blog is a Creativity Killer by Helen

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