Why I Write

Posted: March 31, 2014 in Free Writing
Tags: , ,

I’ve always loved writing. I don’t know what it is about it that I enjoy. I’m just able to communicate better on paper than I do with my mouth. My hands can keep up with my busy mind better than my lips ever could. I feel less afraid of being judged or saying something stupid. It’s a way for me to feel heard, even if no one reads what I write.

In kindergarten and 1st grade, my best friend at the time and I would sit in her basement and think of stories to tell. I would write them down, and she would draw the pictures. We would come up with these elaborate stories and spend hours brainstorming agreeing and disagreeing. Sometimes we would act it out.

Once we wrote a story about two young girls who got lost in a magical forest. It didn’t have much of a plot, however, we would go into my backyard where there were a row trees for us to explore in, then decide where the story would take us next.

I like telling stories, whether they are true or made up. Stories are how we connect with people. It’s how we get to know them. When making new friends, you tell them about your past experiences, that’s a story, more importantly, your story.

Telling someone your own story about your past is probably one of the best ways to tell someone you love them. It means that a sense of trust has been established and they are almost sharing a piece of themselves with me. I value that, which is probably why it’s often times so difficult for me open up and talk about myself. It takes a lot of time and an established sense of trust.

Sometimes, I like being a mystery too.

However, I never saw myself being a journalist until my senior year of high school. I wanted to be an author who writes long and elaborate novels that would land on the local book shelves. I wanted to go to college and major in Theology and Catechetics, graduate and get a job as a youth minister and be a freelance writer on the side until I had my big bestseller and I could quit my job and write.

But then I discovered journalism, in the most random way possible. I was okay with this sudden change of plans and joined the school newspaper. I could talk to people, learn their stories and opinions and not have to share mine. It’s okay for me to ask stupid questions for the sake of wanting a quote and gaining knowledge on something I would otherwise have no interest in.

I did an article on Franciscan’s new core. My interview with the VP of Academic Affairs ran almost an hour long, not to mention the other interviews I did with other faculty and students at Franciscan. That article gave me a new perspective on the core. I still despise it, but I understand why it was created and appreciate the education that I am getting.

I did an interview with the father of a young family who is an alum of Franciscan and won a national contest. In the middle of the interview, this man requested that I turn off my recording device and be off the record to tell me the story of how he and his family struggled economically, living with his wife’s parents with their kids struggling to afford diapers, and how sense winning the contest, they moved into an apartment and he found the courage to start his own business and be successful, allowing his wife to stay home more often with his their kids.

I was touched. He told me this story to because he trusted me and wanted me to better understand the impact that the contest had on his family to write the article with a new respect.

I write because of those moments. To hear the stories of how people got to where they are now. I write to find where people are most vulnerable and try to find a beauty in it. I write because often times the unknown stories are the best stories. I write because sometimes I’m too much of a coward to use my actual voice. And that’s okay.

It’s very rare that I know what I’m doing. Most of the time, I completely wing it and write whatever comes to mind. Rarely do I have a plan. I’m not patient enough to have a plan. Planned writing seems to concrete. It’s the free flowing writing where the best material comes. It’s why I hate editing my own stuff.

Above all, I write because I love it.

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