why i write

The other day, Eric asked me why I write. 

You see, sometimes we don't quite understand each other's life purposes. He designs computer systems, and I write fictional stories. Where he is reason and logic, I am passion and dreams. He is steady and realistic, and I am the one with my head in the clouds.

And to be truly honest, it irks me sometimes. A lot. Because I want to appreciate what he does, and I want him to appreciate what I do. Even though they are so very different things. It's hard for me sometimes to accept that fact that he is not as giddy about visiting Barnes & Noble for hours on end and sitting at coffee shops talking about existentialism, than he is about playing golf and talking about how modern technology is changing the world. 

And lately, I've been a little harsh with myself about my dreams. My writing. As if maybe it's not good enough, purposeful enough. Questions like, "what if I never get published?" or "what if it never really reaches anyone?" plague me at times, but as I sit and think about why I write, I just feel it. I just know.

I write because I need to. Because I want to, because I have to. I write because it's my life. I think sometimes, it's hard for people who aren't readers to understand that. To see the value and the difference writing makes on the world. But the impact is so huge and wonderful and yet quiet and unsuspecting. Writers change the world through words. It's a philanthropy in itself. I am motivated by love. I write because I want to help others, and the only way I know how to do that--and do it well--is through my voice on the page. I think we're all given different talents, desires and passions, and even the arts have their purpose. 

I want to write stories that touch your heart. I want them to wrap you up and not let you go. I write until my hand cramps or the screen blurs and then I keep writing. I write for you. I write for me. I write for all of us. Because I know the hope that exists within the words on the page. I was once a little girl, who dreamt of the things that lived there. Those things that kept me hoping. Wishing. I want to make you smile and cry and everything in between. Just so we can all feel something, really and truly. To become a part of something, to open ourselves up to be vulnerable, fragile. I want stories that reach farther.

You see, stories change you. They are not just words without purpose. When you read a story, it becomes a part of you, and you become a part of it. You lose yourself in the things you love, and you find yourself there, too. In my lifetime, I've read thousands of books, and each one of them has changed me. Opened me up to new things, challenged me, made me face myself, helped me grow and keep seeking. Stories teach you things you wouldn't learn otherwise. They find you and embrace you and mold you. They make you feel at home and yet, have the power to make you feel new and alive and different all at once.

And even if I never get published. Even if my words never reach a great audience. Those things don't matter. Because all you have is right now. And it's not about the money, or the success, or the fame, or any of that. It's about the sheer fact that the words you write hold meaning within themselves. They are able to affect you.

So I will never stop writing. I will never reach some crazy goal and be done. Being an artist is not a job, it is a life. And what you do, has the power to do so many amazing things at one time.

I write because I want people to know they are not alone.
I write because I know how words can change the world.
I write because stories don't just remain within the pages of a book. 
I write and I write and I'll keep on writing until the day I die.
I write because I am.