Vintage Post: Why Write?

NOTE: I am making the move from Blogger to WordPress complete. Thanks for allowing me to re-post my prior posts so that they can be shared with a new audience. 

Why Write?

DECEMBER 7, 2013

I love to write; I love poetry and prose, short stories, flash fiction, pretty things. I love a beautiful sentiment put to simple words. Sometimes the riddle of our feelings is put together so simply that I have to go back and question myself after reading them. Sometimes someone just puts the words together in such a way that makes me think, “yes – THIS.”
I wrote a few weeks ago about my new fave poet, Lang Leav, out of Sydney, Australia. I love the way she is able to take simple words and phrases, and put them together so stoically, so quietly, and yet speak volumes with them. It is a height of talent that I aim my stretch towards.
Some people build things, like houses or machines or even sandwiches. I like to build emotions. I like to be the reason there are tears behind your eyes. I like to be the tug at your heart, the small smile you didn’t realize was blooming on your face. I like to bring words to the stage of paper and let them flail about passionately, zealously, even, in the spotlight of the reader’s eyes. 
Each line I write on a page is a direct representation of my inner child doing a wild pirouette. Look at me! I cry, look what I have made for you! I want to be seen for something, seen as something, recognized for something – and I’d like those somethings to be something I can be proud of. I want to be proud of my words, and I want others to know them, remember them, recite them and share them. I want others to know my work and aspire to write such words. I want to be a good poet – and I think the wanting is half the battle. Writing is such a personal journey, a war within oneself. The battle against time, procrastination, the mental blockage, fear and maybe even shame… all of these can be overcome by sitting down and forcing oneself to 
put the words.
on the page.
But which words? Which ones are the right ones? Which ones are the best? Who matters more, the reader or the writer? Do I want your opinion? Do you want mine? Do I want you to want mine? Once they’re out, they don’t come back. Bullets of the fiercest caliber, so choose wisely.
Most of the time, I write for catharsis. There’s something built up inside that needs to be freed. Sometimes it’s pain, sometimes it’s the rush of that giddy roller coaster ride between the first kiss and the last. I like to write in tribute to others. I like to write to frame the moment on a page so I can go back and remember what that moment felt like. 

I wouldn’t go so far as to call my memory eidetic, but it has been called remarkable. I can remember moments, certain snippets of conversation, the chill of the air, the look on someone’s face, the way my heart dropped or soared. I can remember the thought in my head at the time, or the spot on the wall or whatever it was that I focused on so as not to focus on the trauma of the moment. 

I write to remember, not just for me but for others to do so as well. I write so that people will know, and maybe when I’m gone, they’ll reanalyze their preconceived notions about me or what I wrote, and my writing will truly have a purpose – to make someone think. I write to inform, but not just to teach or to educate. I write to announce, to share, to think aloud, in a way. I write to make moments that shouldn’t be forgotten, unforgettable.

I think some of some pieces of poetry like tattoos. Shredding skin with every painful word being brought up from under the surface, laying feelings out on a canvas in an intricate design. When it’s over, you feel like you’ve been through something. It’s an experience. I feel like, when I’m sitting in the chair listening to the buzz, knowing it’s literally tearing apart what God created so as to make way for my own design, I’m the one in power. I’m the one controlling that tiny fragment of the Universe, and damn, does it feel good.

I have nine tattoos, and I can tell you a story about every one. I can tell you what it means to me, what I went through to mentally earn it, how I came to decide on the design of it, the reactions of the artists when I explained what I wanted, and the feeling of closure that comes when the needle finally hits my skin and I get that surge of adrenaline that tells me, “you went through THAT, you can get through THIS. If you get through THIS, then THAT will be worth the pain.”

When the book comes out, that will be the ultimate tattoo. That will be the graffiti I want to leave on the world. I just want something that says, “Shannon was here.”

What do you write for? Ask yourself and answer honestly – what is your motivation? If it is good, go for it. Hell, even if it isn’t, go for it anyway. I’m not in the business of crushing dreams. I’m here to write about them.
xoxo 🙂


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