Why I Write

When I was in Junior High, I had all of these little notebooks that I would fill with poetry and angsty journal entries about this boy I liked or that supposed arch nemesis (as you have at 12) and her current plans to ruin my life. When I hit high school, I would look back on those and laugh at how ridiculous it all sounded, and how ridiculous my writing was. I assumed then that anything I wrote would be tucked away in journals and hidden from the world. After all, who on earth would want to read about the ways I trip myself up, the dreams I don’t want to let people ruin or the in’s and out’s of my slightly messed up brain?

While I can honestly admit that those little notebooks will never make it into my greatest works collection, I now know that God had other plans. My writing, humble as it’s beginnings may have been, was never going to be just for me. And neither is my story.

When I first started blogging in college, I didn’t even share most of the posts publicly. And when I did, I think I had 3 people who read them with any frequency. (My mom didn’t even know you could click on the link to find a whole post, she thought the Facebook links I shared were weird little teasers, until someone at her church commented on how much they liked reading them.) I would travel to see family and people, that I hadn’t even considered my readers, commented on how much they liked this post or that one. The last time I was at my grandmother’s, she had 4 of my entries sitting atop her printer. I don’t claim to have a massive readership (though, that would be an interesting experience, to be sure), but I have come to realize in the years since I started this whole mess that somehow these posts do impact people.

That’s terrifying, humbling, invigorating, exciting and a thousand other weird-face-inducing-emotions all at once. Most days I feel like I’ve got no idea what I’m doing, and am armed with little but a quick wit, too many pop-culture references and random literary and historical facts. To think that out of that God could grow something life-giving, blows my mind time and time again.

My motivation for writing, then, is threefold: 1) it’s cathartic for me to organize the thoughts in my brain into something that is tangible and can be revisited, 2) it makes my day to day experiences and frustrations seem more valuable when they can be used to encourage someone else, 3) it’s the best way I know to tell people I may never physically meet that they are not alone in whatever circumstance they find themselves in.

It keeps me grounded, comes back to haunt me (in necessary ways) and manages to make a difference to someone other than me. What more could I ask for?