Category Archives: National Writing Day

Why I write 2020

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Has it really been a full year since the last National Day on Writing? October 20, every year.

I still write for all the same reasons as last year: to think, to process, to learn, to explore, to encourage, to teach, to implore, and to celebrate.

But the more I ponder, the more I wonder whether there is more to it. Maybe I write because the sky is azure with a hint of cerulean where it touches the trees. Maybe I write because sunflowers have faces that turn toward the sun, just like mine does. Maybe I write because fall smells of umami, earthy and rich. The sweet florals have passed, and the sharp bitterness of winter has yet to arrive. Fall feels safe, even in its decaying leaves and molding stalks. Maybe I write because leaves crackle and crunch under my running shoes or because my granddaughter’s laugh comes from deep in her belly and echoes across her yard and into my heart and mind. Maybe I write because I know it is possible to create a perfect German Chocolate cake without gluten and without dairy. When the baker, eyes sparkling as she presents it to her daddy, knows that love is in more than the decadent coconut-pecan frosting, although it is there, too.

Maybe I write because Pantone chose 19-4052 TCX, Classic Blue as its color for 2020 because “brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge.” Did the colorists know something about 2020 when they announced that choice last November? Was there prophecy in the picking? By accident or design, this world certainly needs a dose of Classic Blue for 2020.

Sunflower in a field backed by an azure sky

There are pictures that speak a thousand words, but there are also words that speak of pictures. Words that become images that lead to memories that recall feelings that carry us away from the conflict of daily living. Words allow us to escape into the deep recesses of imagination and wander there, undisturbed until we find other words to return us to the surface.

I write to find those words. The ones that make magic of the mundane. The crafted compositions of creative curations cry out to become content in a context of something other than the chaos.

I write because, at the end of the day, I am a writer.

#why I write – a post for the National Day on Writing

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I find it interesting that the National Day on Writing is a Sunday. It seems to me a school day would be more appropriate so more people might participate. But I digress.

I write to think. I write to process information. I write to learn. I write to explore. I write to understand. I write to encourage. I write to teach. I write to implore. I write to celebrate.

I write because I can, because I must, and because I am compelled to do so.

I write because I am a writer.

#WhyIWrite

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Today is National Writing Day. In my world, EVERY day is a writing day, but hey, another celebration of composition is a good thing, right? So, the prompt from the National Writing Project is this:

“The National Writing Project, NCTE, The New York Times Learning Network, and the Teaching Channel invite you to celebrate writing in all its forms: through photos, film, and graphics; pens, pencils, and computers; in graphs, etchings, and murals; on sidewalks, screens, and paper. This year we are asking people in our community to share their writing life with us.” (National Writing Project¬†http://tinyurl.com/okwb5b2)

This makes me consider the nature of writing. Once upon a time I would have defined writing far more narrowly than I do now. Writing meant pen to paper (or fingers to typewriter keyboard). But the advent of the internet and all its affordances expanded the official definition of writing beyond simple letters and text.

I’ve always considered myself a writer. It wasn’t until later in life that I found an outlet in art. And the digital world expanded my horizons even more as I was able to execute my vision in spite of clumsy hands. And so, the purpose I had for writing found other expressions in photography and digital manipulations. This led to a love of blending images with words, which gave me a whole new voice with which to speak. As my understanding of writing expanded, I took my experiences to my students. I often blend art with essay, using photography or drawing or altered books to help students connect to themes before committing themselves to words.

But these revelations do not explain WHY I write.

I can, however, use these tools of photo and process and poem to express my own need to write:

Why I Write