Why write? An apropos question in a time when communication is often limited to 140 characters or less. Writing is not effortless for me. This is compounded by my mildly obsessive nature and a writing style that often involves reading from the beginning after completing a new sentence. Why even bother with the frustration and challenge of assembling letters in an organized and hopefully meaningful way, not to mention the potential for criticism from, well, the world?
Writing does not come easily for me, particularly when I'm writing about personal matters. The inspiration and urge to write is often feast or famine. I find encouragement in this quote:
This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard. --Neil Gaiman
There was a time when I enjoyed writing. I did not take it seriously enough and often times used writing as a means to an end. I wanted an acceptable mark on an exam, so I used writing and my reasoning ability to offset a lack of studying. I needed an income, so I wrote curriculum, employee handbooks, and marketing material. I even studied writing and literature in college, partially because it was the least difficult and most comfortable material I could find. I have not, though, given writing the deference it deserves or has earned. Before an MBA, a career, economic research, and writing countless credit memorandums and deal play books… Lets just say there was a time when I had dreams of writing and being a writer.
Years passed and life happened. I'm now married, have children, and all the responsibilities that come with it. It feels like the days are shorter, as though something discreetly and with surgical precision shaves precious minutes sporadically throughout the day until there is one less hour at the end of each day. Each day is full of wonderful and beautiful moments that are as equally unpredictable. The fleeting nature of these moments forces me to accept my own mortality. I'm learning to appreciate things, and I'm gaining perspective. It is the sense of loss that comes with those fleeting moments that reminds me of the importance of writing. Writing is, among other things, the way I can capture a moment.
Why write? Because I need to do it. Because life happens.