Why I Write, Part 2

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth

Today marks my two-month anniversary of embarking on this blogging journey. I had thought about it long before moving to Alaska, and my original idea was to write about Alaska in general as a way of keeping my geographically distant family up-to-date on life. But last summer that didn’t happen because there was too much emotion and too much adjusting for me to handle. Oh, and the fact that we waited for about a month for the rest of our belongings to catch up to us from California, so I was sans Mac for too many days on top of it all.

And then time passed and I let the idea go because… that’s what happens to ideas sometimes.

Then I read part of The Happiness Project and thought about it again.

Finally, January came and my sister said, “Just do it — it’s not as hard as you think.” So I did it (a liberating experience, pointed out my sister), pushed myself to write for 30 days straight so I’d make space for daily writing in my life, and that brings me to today.

Now I have to thank Wordsworth at this point for his words above, because he has captured so eloquently why I need to write: because I need to capture, in real time, “the breathings of [my] heart.” If I don’t, then who will? And if I don’t give my heart room to breathe, then I can’t feel like myself, and I value me too much to do that.

I have always known that I wanted to write, even when I was very small and before I started going to school. The very moment I could adequately print my name, I remember my mom taking me to the library so I could have my own card (they were paper then) and start borrowing books. And as soon as I could read stories, I wanted to write stories. Years later, I took fiction writing twice in college, plus a non-fiction writing course.

What I have discovered through this experience so far is not that I want to write fiction — there are already many many gifted people in the world who do that, and I am so grateful they exist and share their art with the world. For me this writing is allowing me to get to know my authentic self better, to keep me grounded even while everything around me continues to change and go forward. I, too, am changing and moving forward, of course, but this allows me to check my own intangible vital signs, if you will. Listen to the breathings of my heart.

With or without all of my belongings unpacked, with or without a permanent place to live (yet), with or without a job or some position label attached… I am still myself, all in one piece. Here in this space I claim that and know it’s true.

Thanks again, Wordsworth.



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