Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why I Write

I have begun to depend on writing. Not only to release emotion, but to work through the “issues” of life. I am changing my career to cater to this “writing addiction”. I will be teaching writing all day long starting August 2007. Yes, it will be educating middle school children, but I really am passionate about the power of writing and couldn’t be more excited to influence young people to write. Please bear with me as I, once again, quote Henri Nouwen:

“Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.”

Wish I had some words of my own to express my obsession with writing, but Nouwen’s words simply express it much better than I could ever imagine. Life makes much more sense when put into words.

When I look back to my writings at the beginning of my grief journey, it is so apparent that my feelings were raw and uncontrolled. It is through writing that I am made aware of growth I have experienced. Without this narrative, I would be inclined to forget—to put aside those initial feelings as being to difficult to comprehend. Since they are documented I can actually realize that I have continued to grow and learn through my journey.

Writing is powerful. I challenge each of you to keep a printed record of your life journey.

This I know for sure.


Pentha said...

I'm on this page with you! I've been journaling sporadically since college, more in the nearly three years of widowhood than I had in the previous twelve years of wifedom.

Writing is how I process my life, make sense of and articulate what's going on. If I can't construct a logical, well-reasoned paragraph about something, then I haven't thought it through. If I can't write a clear sentence, then I am not thinking clearly.

Of course, some of what I write is merely a gushing forth of emotions, but even that is a help, a huge help.

BTW, when you're done teaching the kids how to write, I'll teach them how to edit what they write, a skill no less valuable. (This I know for sure!)

Marsha said...

Oh Pentha---wouldn't that be awesome---editing and revising is the essence of writing---

I so -- love to read your writing---

Tanja said...


that is so wonderful that you will teach writing to these kids! Like me, my daughters love to write, and we all find it really helpful to put our emotions into words. Or to put our dreams on paper.

In the plane from NY to Phoenix I saw the movie "The Freedom Writers" and it was very touching to see what the real power of writing is.

Good luck with your new job!