I write because, for me, writing is a creative outlet. Sometimes it feels like a chore or like one more thing on my “to do” list. When I get over the martyr act though, and actually begin to put pen to paper, it is ultimately a release.
I have always been creative. Art was my favorite subject in school and I still enjoy doing artsy things like pottery or knitting. I never considered myself a writer though; that seemed too bold for a person who struggled through school and was certainly never in honors English! I am not even sure what possessed me to sign up for the workshop. It must have been divine intervention. In any case, I’ll never forget my first class or my very first writing prompt. The prompt was…wait for it…“She untied the ribbon of her gown.” I proceeded to create a fictional story about a young girl who had just married the prophet of a polygamous religious cult.
The piece focused on the narrator taking off her wedding gown and mentally preparing herself to sleep with a much older man. I tentatively agreed to read the piece out loud and proceeded with a shaky, nervous voice. When I finished reading, I waited anxiously for the criticism I thought would be sure to follow. Surprisingly, instead of criticism, one of my classmates responded with, “Wow, you channeled that girl!” And just like that, I was hooked.
I write because I love to read, collecting books like other women might collect shoes. I write because it’s therapy. I write because writing is an act of self care in the middle of a hectic life. I write because I have stories to tell and workshop allows me to carve out three hours each week to devote to my craft. Attending workshop also propels me to spend more time writing outside of workshop. Like seeds planted in good soil and sunshine, my writing blossoms. I write because when I don’t write, I miss it. It always calls me back like a fog horn directing the lost sailor to his home port. And like a sailor, I am always greeted with a warm welcome upon my return.
I write because this caring group of people who are also called to write give me hope. They encourage me to continue on my writing path. They are my cheering squad and my hero, my inspiration and my teacher. I know that if it were not for this class, I would not write. I would not call myself a writer. I would not be writing my first novel. I would not be the writer I am today without their weekly guidance, and for that I am truly grateful.