When our new neighbor found out I was a writer (I love that word) she asked me what I write about. I couldn’t think of a single thing.
After a few moments I stammered out autism and mom stuff and some other things. I’m sure, compelled by my eloquent language, she was dying to read one of my articles right then and there.
Our conversation changed to marriage and kids and pregnancy stories and just as my mind was recalling what I write about I realized exactly why I write as well.
I write because…
Remember that moment when you were five or so and your mom or your grandmother or your teacher handed you a balloon and told you to hold on tight? You concentrated fiercely on your grip but then you went along your way and started to forget what you were holding. And just at that moment when the string started to slip through your fingers, you clenched your fist and held on tight and saved it. You looked up at your balloon and let out a giant breath because it didn’t drift away or pop or float up so high you couldn’t see it anymore.
That is why I write. That moment my hand starts to unclench is the reason I put my life into words.
I write because I can pull back a memory with vivid detail before it blurs into something else entirely.
I write because I can choose the color of my words and whether I let them float or hold them close.
I write because if I don’t, I might lose a moment as the world whips past or stumble over the pieces of a memory before I realize it has fallen apart.
I write because it is my instinct to hold on tight, one last time, before I have to let go.
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Elaine A. says
That is a wonderful analogy and perfect description of why you and many of us write. I am so glad we have the words to go back to…
The Insomniac's Dream says
I love to tell people I’m a “writer”, too. And I stumble around when asked what I what. I now say, “everything”.
You summed up the reasons for most of us very beautifully.
Rach (DonutsMama) says
You said this so perfectly and so beautifully. I’ve always thought that you have such a gift for writing.
Darcy Perdu says
Such a lovely analogy for writing! I love writing things down before they fade from memory too — then I feel like I have them forever.
Kate (Shakespeare's Mom) says
How beautiful. What I really love about this is what you mention at the beginning – your difficulty articulating something so important in a conversation. I think that’s a huge part of why we write too. I say so much more through my writing than I ever could just through speaking. Thank you so much for this truly lovely post.
Lady Jennie says
And even this … you write so beautifully. 🙂
Means so much coming from you.
My Inner Chick says
~~I write because it is my instinct to hold on tight, one last time, before I have to let go. –
I know you and I share that feeling, to just keep holding on… sending hugs to you.
Tara YKIHAYHT says
I needed this right now. Right this moment. Thank you. Simply beautiful as always. xoxo
Actually you’ve summed it so beautiful what we all love in blogging, really awesome!
Corey Feldman says
I blog to process, especially the last post linked below. My fiction writing is also a sort of processing on one level. A creative and hopefully artistic outlet on another. And sometimes it’s just fun to let a story or character(s) lead me on a journey.
such beautiful imagery.
Jiminey Christmas you are brilliant. Prettiest thing I’ve read in a long while. I’m so glad you write!
I love you and your words, no one has said Jiminey Christmas about one of my posts before :).
Such a pretty way of putting it – love it!
Steph at I'm Still Learning says
Beautifully put. And I couldn’t agree more. I write to get my innermost thoughts out. When dealing with anxiety, writing helps me to sort it all out and pull my thoughts together. I write to capture what I’m feeling in that moment so that I can look back one day and remember where I was at that point in time.
Nice post, Jessica.
You have put it perfectly into words why so many of us write. To freeze time.
The House of Hale says
Thank you. This says pretty much exactly everything I’ve ever tried to convey to non-writers. I had a huge conflict with my husband’s family recently over my blogging, and no matter what I said they just didn’t understand. Very well put!! 🙂
Love. As always.
I haven’t been able to sit and write for a month. I’ve been inexplicably cranky for the past week. I realized today, it’s because I haven’t used my voice. The balloon string has been slipping through my fingers. So, I grabbed it. This afternoon, I sat down and wrote. Finally!
Oh, Jessica. I am so glad that you write. Your words are beautiful.
Whacamole Mom says
PERFECT! Beautiful analogy and so very true.
No, you are not just a writer. You are a talented, inspirational, poignant writer.
Oh my yes… you just put into words what I couldn’t. You are such a brilliant writer.
Alexa (katbiggie) says
Exactly! Writers write because, as Alison also said, we need to. We want to and have to. If I have something I really want to write about, I feel like I am being eaten alive on the inside until I can just spew it all out on paper! I love to read your writing!
Beautiful post and once again you write what I am thinking. How do you do that!? :-). I am afraid if I don’t write about (especially about Jake and Sawyer) I will have forgotten all the moments that went by so quickly. xo
Jen @ Real Life Parenting says
It’s funny–I find myself doing the same thing … wanting to write to capture moments. When we were on our family vacation it was killing me that I didn’t have a computer to get them written and keep them. I felt the memories getting fuzzy with each day because other new moments were taking their places.
I just wrote about not being able to write and it’s hurting me, haunting me. I think about writing, and not writing all the time. You just captured here perfectly, why we write. Need to, want to, have to. Lovely.
I can relate. So much. And also? At that moment when I start to absentmindedly let go of that balloon – as I’m walking through my day on autopilot – my mind automatically goes to writing mode. I can’t help it. It is second nature.
Right there with you, I get the urge to write the second something happens that I don’t want to forget or as soon as something pops into my head that I had forgotten about.
Galit Breen says
I love this. So very much.
Oh I’m so glad you read this, I actually thought about you when writing it because you capture moments and memories so perfectly.