This post was written in response to the Writing 101, Day 1 prompt: I write because….
I write because I grew up in a small town where fitting in was not my forte. I was artistic and academic, borderline hyperactive (before that was a diagnosis) and just about the opposite of athletic. I created “treasures” from items that were tossed aside, and I was overflowing with sass. The combination was one that didn’t work well for a kid navigating the waters of small town school life. At first, the fact that I didn’t fit in mattered to me. But after a while—and too many reminders that my sharp edges and rounded corners didn’t match everyone else’s—I accepted my lot in life.
I write because in kindergarten, a light went on when I learned to squeeze meaning from the squiggly lines that formed words on a page. A door was opened to new adventures and new worlds where I could easily lose myself. The public library and local bookstore became my refuge, and I hid behind the mask of a voracious reader.
I write because sometimes, when I felt lost and alone, reading was not enough. I would take out a notebook, usually in the late hours of the day when dusk turned to darkness. At first, I wrote fiction and poetry, depending on my mood. I would craft stories, churning out page after page, simply to see how much I could write and to watch the page curl under the weight of my words.
I write because as I ventured from adolescence into adulthood, my ideas and my identity were fluid and changing. I wrote my feelings and my dreams into stories as I worked to make sense of the world and my place within it. I wrote stories of realistic fiction with characters who might have been my friends.
I write because when I divorced, I needed a way to pull myself out of the all-consuming black hole that is emotional abuse. Suddenly, I was the character, and the world was my own. There were many soul-searching journal entries. Many nights of listening to the rain outside my window while my thoughts and my words spilled onto the page.
I write because once I freed myself from the abuse and regained my confidence, not writing was no longer an option. Through my journey, I had evolved into a writer. I had discovered a home in creative non-fiction. I discovered that writing my story helps me to live a better life.
I write because I never did find the place where I fit in. But fitting in is over-rated. Writing is a journey that fits perfectly with who I am.