My mind immediately flashes to images of Anne Shirley and Jo March when I think of a writer. I loved them when I was a child (I still love them), and I remember cheering when they saw pieces published, and crying when their work wasn’t loved or appreciated. It was my first taste of the joy and agony of writing, lived through their words, long before I ever imagined I would try to write anything more creative or personal than a term paper.
I didn’t understand the agonizing beauty of taking pieces of your heart, and putting them out there for the world to read. I didn’t imagine what it could mean to a person like me, who lives so much of life inside my own head, to reach out through words on a screen and build connections. It has changed my life.
I traveled a long path with words before I was able to finally use the word writer to describe myself.
I write to create.
Words are my passion – they are my paint, my graphite, my clay. Ready to be molded. I scoot this one over here, and move that one up three lines. I wrangle these sentences into place, and decide that marginally flows better than slightly. Writing and rewriting, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to make a change; until all the words sit perfectly, and paint the picture I see in my mind.
I write because I have a story to tell.
I pull words from the deepest dark, and set them out in the light. In the light, they take on a power of their own. They shine. They heal. They find beauty. They transform. They build a new world.
Telling our stories is important, because it builds community. I have written about my childhood, and it was hard and scary to hit publish on those posts. Even though my honesty caused me to lose relationships with family members I love, the support I received was amazing, and it helped me grow and heal. I wouldn’t take back a single word.
There is a small sliver of safety in writing about the past. It was a different kind of hard to tell the story of me, where I am now. Being honest about my fears, my insecurities, and where I live, was a big step to take. But I wouldn’t take back a single word.
I write to remember.
Writing isn’t always about taking the biggest pain and bleeding it out onto the page. Sometimes it is about the beautiful things - small, silly memories to hold, and fleeting images my brain will soon forget. I want to capture them, so I can go back to that moment again. I want the words there, ready to pour over my soul like a heavy afternoon rain.
Why do you write?
Want to know more about Tracie? Then make sure to watch this incredible video she made. It’s all about her journey. You may want to get some Kleenex first…
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