Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I Write: National Day of Writing

What I write:
Grocery lists
To-do Lists
Scattered Poetry
Scrapbook journals
Diaries
Journals
Comments to kids
Notes to colleagues
Thank-you notes
Facebook messages
Tweets
Birthday cards

Why I Write:
To keep in touch
To Share
To Learn
To Explore
To Rant
To Create
To Give Encouragement
To Leave a Mark
To Record My History


But really, I write because I always wanted to be Harriet. You remember Harriet...Harriet the Spy ?  After I read that book, my life changed.  I took my little writer's notebook and roamed our neighborhood, spying on the neighbors and writing down what I saw. I wanted to be Harriet.

Eventually, that writer's notebook became a diary. I wrote down inconsequential things that meant nothing to no one. I remember keeping real feelings locked inside and only wrote down what I thought people wrote in diaries.

Mrs. Henke and Creative Writing entered my life in high school and along with her a love of writing poetry (notice I didn't say a love of teaching poetry). My diary became a journal (really--what is the difference if it still is full of the inconsequential), and my writing became the fluff of silly teenage girls everywhere.

With college and an English minor, I wrote as I imagined the great writers wrote. Stuffy. I hated it. And writing left my life for a good long time.

Except, of course, for the annual Christmas letter, which I tried to make as creative as possible.

And, now, I'm back. Writing for me. Writing because I can't imagine not writing. Writing about life so the world (well, mostly the grandkids) knows I was here. Writing so others know I cared.

But, seriously, I write because deep down, I still want to be Harriet!



5 comments:

  1. Loved your words, but especially about Harriet/your history. You are right to go back to the very core, to find what is especially important to YOU! There are many reasons, and I love to write with students, but the essential words are for me. Thanks for reminding me to think through to the priorities.

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  2. Just wanted to tell you that because of you, I found the book Harriet the Spy and actually put it into the hands of a young woman writer. She seemed thrilled.

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  3. Love that you did that! I hope it inspires her as much as it did me!

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  4. Harriet is an old favorite of mine too! Harriet and Anastasia Krupnik--I loved her lists. I am so happy you have found a place for writing in your life again! Your words provide a rewarding connection for me.

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  5. I love Harriet too! That brings back a lot of great memories with my grandma.

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