Five Reasons Why I Write

  1. I have to write. Without words I am bereft of purpose. There is no place to put the observations that engulf me. What is seen must be captured, assessed, noted, saved, savored, and ultimately shared.
  2. I have to tell the truth. Fiction is the bridge to truth. Fiction is truer than truth, truer than everyday life. Story is where I can show not only the liar, but how she lies and why she lies; where he only suddenly becomes self-aware. Story is where people grieve and laugh. Story is where reverberations from the past become manifest in the present, where when we talk about life we are really talking about death.
  3. I can make people listen to the truth. If my writing is true, then my reader, my listener will agree, “Yes, this is true.” And he will smile, or she will nod in that sublime flash of recognition. “Yes, that is the way people act.” “Yes, that is me.” And will continue to listen to me and perhaps to others in new ways.
  4. The writing process is a sublime gift. Nowhere am I more attuned to something greater than myself than when word follows word, when the sentence, now wrong, becomes the sentence now right, becomes the paragraph, becomes the page, becomes the story, becomes the novel. I am conscious of my responsibility to The Cathedral of Words, that my few bricks must add value to the edifice, even as I strive to engage you, make you laugh or weep, but always to have you, my reader, agree that what is written is true.
  5. I write because I can. For a very long time I thought everyone could write, even those who didn’t. I now know that there are many who cannot. Which means I have the obligation to write.   Someone passed me the stick, and I am the one standing in front of the campfire, holding forth, interpreting both life and shadow. It’s a responsibility. And it is one that I accept with joy.