This was one of the initial questions the writing Mastermind teacher asked us on our first Zoom encounter in early January. I looked at the squares of women, twenty-eight of us in all, embarking on this six month quest to devlop a non-fiction project we hoped to publish. I felt overwhelmed and wondered who I thought I was to embark on such a quest.
Why do I write? It started after my brother Jeff’s suicide when I was a freshman in college. A glorious new world of freedom was at my feet and I was now facing the biggest stumble of my life. Grief. Loss. Hopelessness. The only thing I could think to do was to write about it. My mom brought me to a therapist shortly after Jeff died but I was all clogged up, didn’t know how to speak out loud the things I was feeling, the dark thoughts rolling around in my head. Pen and notebook saved me. Denial did too.
When things went wrong in life, I would stretch my hand for pen and notebook. There have been many years in between where I searched for answers to life’s big questions on blank pages, hoping the writing process would clarify things and it usually did. What should I do for work? Where is prince charming? How do I manage broken relationships? Also the good stuff too. Hopes, dreams and goals.
For the years after my loss, drinking drinking became a balm to me and I turned to it often, especially when I was faced with life’s hurdles. Finally there was a reckoning to be had, a choice to be made. Continue drinking or life. I chose life and from this I gravitated toward writing again. This time a blog about my first year of sobriety. A year of healing, learning who I was and coming back to myself. The more I wrote, the more I loved to write and even when inspiration was missing or lost, I wanted to write. I write to know what I care about, to learn what I am thinking, to feel connected to my inner core, my soul. To connect with you.
Why do you write?