Why I write
Years ago, a good friend gave me a big artists’ sketchbook for Christmas: “It’s a journal — you need to write out the (very many) thoughts in your head!”
A few years later, I took a one-week class at Regent College in Vancouver taught by a great writer, called “Writing as a Spiritual Discipline.” Loved it. But didn’t really get to write much with the busy and frenetic pace of life around Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I lived.
When I left for a semester of graduate school in Nairobi, Kenya, a year later — writing was how I survived. It was how I made sense of cross-cultural realities and dealt with my cognitive dissonance. I hope to post some of those essays, which capture what the Greeks termed ‘catharsis’ quite well.
I seem to write the most when I travel, after I meet famous people, and when I have to (for assignments).
So, at the start of 2012, writing for me is a combination of all that and so much more. I seem to present myself most accurately in words. You can pack an awful lot of nuance, significance, and detail in just a few sentences. (My husband otherwise patiently sits through hour-long processing sessions wherein I describe my day. He’s very long-suffering!) And life seems to hold so many precious, unique moments that to entrust them to memory and recollection seems unwise.
Let me start off this blog with a toast of sorts to the many writing friends and friendly writers who have encouraged me in ways small and large to put pen to paper and fingers to the laptop — and write. DianaM, ChristineF, LaurenG, KathyTM, KristinH, BolajiO, JoyW, LisaHS, ChrisP, StephP, NikeV, GraceN, SaraK, my family, countless unnamed friends who simply love me and help me bloom, and my super-awesome husband John — THANK YOU!