Why I Write (#whyIwrite)


NOTE: This post is written as a response to the National Day On Writing, which for 2011 is Oct. 20 and celebrates writing of all kinds.

Why do I write?

I write because it provides me an escape. To transport myself and others to another world or life. To experience something new or relive something old via my characters.

Through the words I construct, I can travel to the other side of the room or the other side of the world. I can be whoever or whatever I want. I can experience everything or nothing.

I write to inform and instruct. I write because I want to. Because I need to.

For me, writing is in my blood. I have been writing short stories since I was in the fourth grade. I still remember my first story. It was called “The Incomplete Pass,” and it was about a quarterback who dislocated his arm because he threw the ball so hard. In fact, he hurled the ball with such force his arm ripped from his body. It was instantly possessed and began strangling people, until it was captured and put to sleep.

Ridiculous. I know.

I wrote my first novel manuscript when I was a freshman in high school. I still have the hard copy of it; however, the word processor file is long gone with my first computer, so I have done nothing with it.

Writing is my dream. I have published my first novel, which is “Murder at St. Alfanus.”

So I write to chase a dream. Since I penciled “The Incomplete Pass,” I have dreamed of being a famous author like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, John Grisham, Michael Connelly or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I want to be able to walk into a book store and see my name on a book sitting on the shelf.

So I write.

The summer before my senior year of high school I was lucky enough to take part in the American Legion Boys State of Kansas program where I was the editor of the daily newspaper that served the program.

It was a week that changed my life.

I got the journalism bug, and I followed that new passion through college, to writing for various news organizations, to being the editor-in-chief of student publications and a weekly newspaper, to now teaching journalism to high school students.

So I write.

I write daily and weekly articles for my blog, the school district’s website and the local newspaper.

Writing is my way to express myself. When I don’t write, I feel like I’m going to explode.

So I write.

Even though I am now a journalist through and through, all forms of writing are important in my life. I can often be seen jotting down funny or memorable things people say. I also write Haiku poems, parodies of famous poems, opinionated essays, flash fiction, short stories, informative analysis pieces of news events and more.

And I am slowly but surely working on my next novel.

So I write.

Without writing, I would be lost. Writing helps me be a more avid reader, just as reading helps me be a better writer. As I read and write everything I can, I become a better communicator in general. I can speak easily and with confidence to others about a variety of topics, whether important or just idle chit-chat. I feel writing, which translates into reading, makes me have more intelligence.

So I write.

The written word means so much to me, I almost struggle expressing it in writing. Such quandaries and philosophical dilemmas are what propel me to keep going.

So I write.

I believe anything I write will live on long after I am dead and buried. It is my legacy. I keep practicing and perfecting it so I will hopefully leave a lasting impression.

Why do I write? . . . Why not?

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