Daily Archives: July 28, 2010

Why I Write

I write because I must.

I write because there is something that calls to me, that forces me to try to make sense of this world. A world that is both sublime and ridiculous. A world that I’ll never truly understand, but which I feel is I might understand if I would just write a little more. So I press on.

The urge has been with me since I was a young child. At that early age, I suppose I write for attention; to be heard and, perhaps even, understood. Writing was something that I could do in isolation that would always bring great comfort, whether I was satisfied with what I had written or, in most cases, not.

As I got older I discovered that there might be a chance that I could be an effective writer and possibly, imagine the thought, make a living doing it. It fulfilled and sustained me then as it does today. And though I’ve been writing for a living off and on for most of the last 3 decades, I believe the muse or voice inside me would call out and force me to put one word in front of the last whether I was paid or not. These days I mostly do it for love.

For me writing is a conversation with an imaginary reader, friend, or even lover. It is a chance to express my most personal personal thoughts without fear of embarrassment or interruption. Writing is often an opportunity to create a dialogue with one person or a thousand. In that it is a strange beast, offering words so personal to such a vague, unknown audience.

I write because it calls to me, makes me happy and completes me. Without writing I think I would be a much more lonely man in this increasingly isolated world. It connects me to others in a way that nothing else can. It completes a circle that starts with the thoughts that are in my head and ends in the same place.

I write because it is the thing that makes me feel most human. It is a joy for me, and it’s thrilling on the rare occasion when I write something that I believe is of superior quality; that represents the true me.
Writing defines me and allows me to help others understand who I am.

Finally, I write because I believe, deep in my soul, that it is the reason I am here. It feels so often like my true calling and purpose. And even though I am so seldom satisfied with the end result, the sensation that I get when I am in the process of writing is like non-other.

There is a story of the writer Henry Miller who would sometimes sit at his typewriter when no words would come to him and say in French, “I am listening.” Like Miller, I too am always listening to that muse within and without.

I am it’s servant. And I will always be listening.

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Filed under My Stories

The Art Of Losing

I happened to hear this poem on the radio about 20 years ago and it instantly became one of my favorites.
I hope you enjoy it too.

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

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Filed under Poetry