Monday, December 1, 2008

Why I Love to Write

By Rene Allen

It’s Monday morning, THE Monday morning after Thanksgiving. I fixed two turkeys this year because I thought we were having more company than actually showed up and neither turkey was big enough. I also made three kinds of cranberries and told everyone who was coming that the only bread would be in the dressing because I’m avoiding it, i.e., no rolls, because I’m managing my food. It rained (which really was a BLESSING) but an hour away in Florence, my 86 year old parents were stopped in a line of cars because there was three inches of hail and six cars slid off the road. I bought two packs of Canasta cards because we all love it, but because of the rain everyone arrived late and had to leave early so we didn’t play Canasta. It was a screwy Thanksgiving.

But now, it’s Monday, and I’m back at the keyboard. The weekend’s chaos is dissolving even as I write. It is dissolving because I write.

I love to write and this is why, because what is inside my head has an outlet. It pours into my fingers which dance over the keys. The keys make satisfying clicking sounds and words appear on a screen. These words are the first pass, the raw material in a refining process that moves toward precision.

I love to write because the blank page demands truth. I can hedge, stutter, hold back and I will know. Something will gnaw in my mind until I pay attention. It will demand focus until I get there, until I unravel a mystery or face a dragon or just sit and gaze out the window until it comes to me. Truth isn’t good or bad. It is simply truth, things as they are without judgment or criticism, and I love it as much as I love writing.

When I write I create. I put words together in new ways. I tell new stories. My writing is uniquely my own, identifiable and recognizable because it comes from my soul. Sometimes, what I create from my soul touches someone else in a good way. This is another reason why I love to write.

I may sit down sometime today and write about this screwy Thanksgiving weekend. Was putting a hex on bread really worth it? Someone brought squash instead of green beans. The plates looked funny. Is that why? Besides finding the truth about this weekend, writing may give me the chance to learn more about myself. I threw dinner together, cooked two turkeys and three kinds of cranberries and was broadsided because I didn’t get to play Canasta?

Were I not writing now, I would not understand that change is happening, that time waits for no man and that I, too, am caught in the flow. There is uncertainty ahead, and surely there will be sadness. But there will be these minutes with a laptop and the click-click-click of the keys, too, and I will remember again how much I love to write. And though it won’t change anything else, it will change me.

4 comments:

  1. lovely insight to the cathartics of writing. It is definately a blessing.

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  2. It helps put things in perspective when we commit the words to paper, doesn't it?

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  3. Wow. That was my first reaction to your post, Rene. Wow. so poetic...so tender...so true!

    I felt every word. thanks, Rene.

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  4. Thanks, Rene. When I'm writing, I love it. When I'm not, I let anything and everything get in the way. I have not yet made myself write every day. But I knit or do some kind of handwork every chance I get -- even when riding in the car, talking on the phone, or watching TV. I'll spend hours editing somebody else's writing, but even when committed for a BIAM, I let days go by without adding a thing to my WIP. Oh, woe is me.

    Thanks for the inspiration. I'm more determined to change my ways. It's great to see how my ANWA sisters handle their concerns and move on. Perhaps that's the real reward for belonging.

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