I write to tell my story and because I believe that stories need to be told.
Today I am celebrating the National Writing Project’s National Day on Writing by answering the question, “Why I Write?”
I write for one reason and that one reason spills into every corner of my life. I write to tell my story and because I believe that stories need to be told. From my early childhood I have had a love affair with writing. I love hearing my mom tell stories of how I love to write and she could tell so early on. Always included in my writing I would also love to play writing teacher.
But for a long time I confused the idea of writing with the idea of being a celebrity author and I let my own misconception misdirect my path. I thought that I could never achieve that kind of status. And when I would proclaim myself to teachers, friends and family I was met with much skepticism. I immediately turned that love of writing inward sharing it with very few. On the occasional paper in high school or creative writing endeavor I would get noticed by my English teacher. They would pull me aside and encourage me to go to college. At the time college just never seemed like an option. I nodded and continued on with my writing in private.
I remember being on the school newspaper in my junior year and taking home the loner laptop for stories and just plugging away on there and then a year later my mom bought me word processor that had a tiny screen that let me write and print to my hearts content. That really change writing for me. But still it was something I kept quiet. I would write publicly but it would be for my school newspaper or assignments but never for anyone to read out side of that.
Then I became a blogger and writing changed for me to something extremely public and made me gain the confidence to think, “Hey, maybe I can do this in the real world.” Next thing I know I am in a college classroom in my first writing course. Long story short, I realized everyone is a writer. A celebrity author and a writer are two very different things. And I began to believe we are all writers with a story to tell.
Now you know the rest of the story. Here I am 9 years later a degree in English with a writing concentration and I am not working on my Masters in English with a Rhetoric and Composition concentration.
To say that I love writing is an understatement. There is never ever a day that goes by that I don’t write. Sometimes it may be small, sometimes it may be huge, (thank you 13 page paper for a class today) but it is always important because writing is sharing a tiny bit of ourselves on that piece of paper.
I teach my students everyday to reject that notion of what writing means and to embrace themselves as writers. I don’t expect them all to love writing like I do, but I hope they see just how pivotal it is to their lives. And if I had a penny for every time I have been told by a student at the end of the semester, “Thanks for making writing not seem like such a chore.” Even writers struggle getting started, keeping going and ending. It is just for the sheer will to get what we have to say out that we do it. That is universal isn’t it? That is why I love to write.