Why Write

Take me, for example.  Not the best writer in the world.  A reluctant writer.  A shy writer, but I cannot seem to stop doing it. I have tons of journals in the basement; I am writing a book or trying to. I tried high school teaching once but couldn’t stomach it.  I Teach yoga instead, and love it.

Still writing though.  Weird.  So what’s the point?  Why continue with this?  The answer is: I can’t stop.  I am addicted in a weird way.  I can stop for a while, but not for long. I wish I could stop, but I can’t. It’s what I do.  It’s who I am. Or at least it’s a part of who I am.  Not everything, but big.  Huge, maybe.

I can’t stop doing it.  I like it and I hate it at the same time. It’s both a blessing and a curse.  Why can’t I stop?  This is what happens when I do stop, even for a little while.

At first it feels fine.  I am doing and acting in the world, and everything is fine.  Then there starts to be  discomfort.  Not in the body, but someplace inside.  There is a grouchiness that develops, a persistent feeling of being out-of-sorts.  I can’t put my finger on it but it feels wrong.  I never think it’s because I haven’t been writing, though.  I blame it on my diet, or lack of exercise, or lack of discipline in my life.  I start to worry about death, and wake up in the night and think about how old I am and how I haven’t done a damn thing with my life and it’s almost over.  I think that I am not even close to getting the “Life Well-Lived” badge.  But I am very close to getting the “Too Little Too Late” badge. Or the “Good Intentions” badge.  And that scares me.

So the next day I take out the journal and start scribbling because I need someone to talk to about all this stuff that’s worrying me.  I need to talk to my inner wisdom guide, which I have named “Stella,” only I don’t ever consciously think that that’s what I need to do.  I think I just need to sort things out in my brain.  I think I need to put it all out there and look at it rather than having all the boogie-boogies in my brain (which is a very dark and spooky place to begin with) scaring me with their creepy noises and voices.

When I finish writing there is clear and bright at the end.  Not always “happy.”  No.  But the writing shines a flashlight under the bed and I can see the boogie-boogies for what they really are, which are thoughts, and not real.

I sit down and write these words: Only actions are real.  And although this does not console me, because I am not a person of action for the most part, at least I am not worried about stuff that isn’t real anymore.

Then I realize after I’ve written for a few hours that the reason I was getting all crazy in my head was that I had not written in a while. I was disconnected from my self, my Stella, my star, my soul, whatever I want to call it.  And that’s why I needed to write.  Not because I am a good writer. Not because I need to make up elaborate other worlds like fiction writers do.  No. I write in order to connect with myself.

I write because it’s the only way I know that I can stay happy and sane.  If I don’t, I become grouchy and crazy.

It’s as simple as that.

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