By Donna Brown, TCTELA Middle Level Section Chair
Why do I write?
The simple question that has made me stop and think. What is the why? I write not because of a “why.” I learned that I write for a need that must be filled. Without writing in my day, I would feel empty, confused, and wandering without purpose.
One day, while pondering this question, I tried a little experiment by not writing at all. I could not write electronically or with any writing utensil. I could not respond to texts, make lists, write down information I was learning or information I needed to produce. I could not make a record of anything I learned, I thought, or I created. I assumed the day would pass with all of the items I needed to accomplish at home. There were a few errands to run so there would not be a tremendous amount of writing required for that day. I could return phone calls instead of texting. No problem. It was not like I was at work where writing was needed.
Little did I realize how much writing impacted my life. A couple of friends texted me, and I called them back with one ending the phone call saying “just text me tomorrow.” As the day progressed, we went on a hunt for new flooring options. That was ridiculous. I could not remember prices, materials, qualities, or dimensions. My husband became so frustrated that he began recording information. To make sure I did not write, I left all the paper and pens at home. There was not a single thing in my purse to record information. I did feel lighter but served no purpose. I started taking pictures of details until I realized that technically that was a record of my thinking. At one point I almost resulted in getting out a tube of my favorite lipstick to capture information. By mid-afternoon, the experiment was over. I had not gone 8 hours without being able to write. I bought a pen and a small journal to finish the day.
I always envisioned myself the kind of writer that would have books filling the shelves of homes across the world. I would be a writer that would inspire others with my words. I would be like my favorite writers, Maeve Binchy or Isabel Allende, with best sellers that would be translated into multiple languages. I would be the writer where my stories would transport the reader to a land where present time did not matter.
Now, today, I am the writer that supports me. I am the writer that finds peace and calm in her world by putting words down on paper. I am the writer that teaches others to write. I am the writer that confers with teachers and students on how to use writing to make a difference in their world. I am the writer that sees her students succeeding in multiple arenas of high education and the workforce. I am the writer that writes daily just like breathing.