Slice #21: Why do I Write?

Johannes Vermeer, Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid

It’s a rare Saturday. Urgencies quiet, I treat myself to a slow start, waking only when my eyes decide to open – a luxury. Following my second cup of tea, a lovely breakfast and meaningful conversation, I settle down to write today’s post.  Suddenly, my slow start speeds up as I begin wondering, mixed with slight panic, about what to write today.

Writing every day is challenging. Writing every day publicly, is nearly insurmountable. Throughout the Slice of Life challenge, I have lamented, with those willing to listen, about my struggles over coming up with a topic that is worthy of reading. During a conversation the other day with a good friend and colleague, bemoaning the fact that 98% of my posts aren’t even read, she asked me two simple, but very provocative questions.

“Why do you write?”

“Do you write to be read, or do you write because the process is gratifying?”

And so the ruminations began rumbling…

I am not a writer.

A writer is someone that shares his/her talents with a broad audience – understanding that once their words are released, they belong to the reader. Days are spent observing life – pondering its significance; searching for stories that lurk in the every day and sharing their discoveries in words.

And although writers write for themselves, they do have aspirations of becoming published – their message, hopes, and dreams for the world sent out through their fingertips. They want their words read and considered.

I am a teacher of writing.

Each day, I share my passion of words and what little I know about the craft of writing with the young minds that sit before me. I am happy to stumble around with the students working out how to best plan for and tackle a piece of writing – how to persevere through the messiness and challenges of revision – how to maintain confidence throughout the process of writing.

I read to appreciate the art of writing – admiring an author’s ability to capture the nuances of life in words. My appreciation evident in the comments and dog-eared pages that litter my books. I read to learn the craft of writing – the “how tos” from the greats to help me improve my own writing and that of the students. I read to appreciate the simple beauty of words – singular or paired.

So why do I write? I write to celebrate the craft. I write to learn. I write to reflect. Hopefully, I write to share my passion.