Words Make a Difference

by Brenda on April 27, 2012

A Solitary Life

The daily writing life isn’t easy.
It’s a solitary existence
It’s lonely and depressing
It’s hunger and passion
It’s discovery and loss, it’s painful,
Full with wonder, depth, and can
Push me to the very brink of crazy.
I howl to the moon, growl, and pant,
Dance and swirl, swarm as bees
Do to flowers. My words burning
Up space, clamoring for attention, escaping
To be part of something, to link, if only to cease
The solitary existence, make a family
From the sentence, have friends in the graf.
Four-hundred-twenty-two multiplied by ten, daily writes
Later, there is a poet, a memoirist,
A fashionista, a songwriter, a liar,
A love letter writer, a novelist,
And Xena, the inner Princess Warrior.
All fill the blank page with stories
Of a life, mine, and images of ones
Created for the page, the daily write,
The prompt staring the writer in me down, daring
Passions to percolate, unearthing inspiration
To burn up the pages, blazing a trail
To the end of the writing time found every day
In minutes outside of the daily existence
The struggles, the chances taken
The moments lost, agonized over
The writing is why I come to the page
To write is to write is to write
Start and don’t’ stop, not ever.

I think about the writers before us, the ones who didn’t have sexy laptops, Word Press or Blogger. They only had pen and journal, stamps and heavy-bond paper. To love to write, to live to write, and never having an outlet, makes me shudder.

I don’t have a specific word that I love more than any other word; rather my passion is for all words. It’s why I read and write. I know writing is a mystery to some, while to other’s it’s their breath, their second skin, and without it, there is a void so deep life can feel meaningless, without purpose. I write because I write. It’s what I say to non-writers when they ask me why I write.

Are you famous they want to know, do you publish they demand. Do you make money at this folly, the rudely inquire. They tell me I am missing Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and other pop culture prime time television viewing. Oh my, I whisper under my breath. I’ll go to my grave not knowing who the who was in the Biggest Losers. I feign sadness.

I write, it’s what I do I try to explain. I try to tell them how words can make the difference in a day, can turn stranger into a lover, can leave their imprint on someone’s life, can make the day more than ordinary. If you’re not making money they say, then why bother. I think to myself that they have never read a poem by Emily, the opening paragraph of The Prince of Tides, felt the chill from Poe’s The Raven, or received a letter from a Lover, and for this I am truly saddened.

No, I don’t have a logical explanation why nor can I explain my passion for all words. I don’t try explaining the daily rite of writing. I leave the non-writer to their reality of prime time television viewing and think to myself, they’ve never read, The Long Goodbye, and fallen in love with the language magically woven together by Chandler.  I will die without ever writing a description as lush, but knowing I can read his words when I lose inspiration is enough to keep my fingers on the keyboard and off the remote. Writing isn’t explainable and who would understand why I am at peace in my solitary existence

How do you answer the why do you write question?

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo Heroux April 27, 2012 at 5:07 am

I love this, a lot.
I write because I have to write. I blog because I can. I don’t think I ever didn’t want to write, only moments in my life when I was uninspired. Brief ones. It’s who I am.
I’m a woman, daughter, wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend and a writer.

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Brenda April 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thanks kindly, Jo. I don’t always think we have a reason other than we must and do. It’s always amusing to me when I am asked WHY do you do it, write. Sometimes I go into the details, but only to torture the person who asked. Mostly I shrugged my shoulders. It is true though, I don’t watch reality television. I do watch lots of movies.

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My Inner Chick April 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

***It’s discovery and loss, it’s painful,
Full with wonder, depth, and can
Push me to the very brink of crazy*** Yes! Sweet Brenda.

I tell them this….. “”words have saved me. words are my prayer. words make my heart beat quickly quickly ever-so-quickly….”"

I tell them: “I write to breathe. I write to live.”

That’s All.
XXx Love love Love.
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Kim, and you keep on doing what you’re doing. You’ve found your calling in those words and you continue to delight your readers, as well as healing a little bit every word, every day.

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ropcorn April 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Lovely post. I enjoy writing and playing with words too. Such a great way to use my creativity. Words are powerful indeed.
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Ropcorn.. I think that is the best part of blogging, we can explore with our words. You never know where they will lead. Thanks kindly for stopping by.

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kario April 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

My answer is very similar. I write because I can’t NOT write. It’s like asking me why I eat or drink or breathe or sleep. It’s part of me. This is beautiful!
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Thanks, Kario, I like what Martha said above, because it brings peace within. I know I’ve struggle all week with a chapter I am working on – tormented me really, which was preventing me from writing. I blogged but I continued to circle the unwritten chapter. It took me six days to type the opening line. After, I had peace. Funny how that happens.

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Wild Child Mama April 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm

My husband wonders how I can choose writing or sewing over television, too. Most of the time TV feels like a waste. I could be creating! Expressing! LIVING! Participating! Can’t really explain this to some people. Although I wish everyone would try, would feel for themselves what it’s like to make tangible their feelings.
Beautifully written;).
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Kjersi – I do watch television and read books because sometimes I need to shut down, but when I am watching and not reading or writing there is a little voice in my head asking “shouldn’t you be writing?” :-) It’s balance. And you cannot make someone do something they do not want to do.

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Monica April 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Brenda, I always get excited when I see that you’ve posted a new poem. It’s like diamonds for the soul. Here’s my favorite part:

“Later, there is a poet, a memoirist,
A fashionista, a songwriter, a liar,
A love letter writer, a novelist,
And Xena, the inner Princess Warrior.
All fill the blank page with stories”

Such a wonderful bundle of words–happy surprises!
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Monica, you make my heart sing. A good line yourself, diamonds for the soul, another borrowable line to use somewhere

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Mamawolfe April 28, 2012 at 1:02 am

Wow, Brenda. I never know how to answer that question either, but maybe I can use some of your exquisite words myself. I’m still just figuring out why I went 25 years with only writing for myself. I was afraid. Now that I’m all grown up I’m courageous and fearless and…wait-I think I figured it out!
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Martha Orlando April 28, 2012 at 1:26 am

“Writing isn’t explainable and who would understand why I am at peace in my solitary existence.”
It is not ever about who will understand, it is all about the peace, Brenda, the peace we find and treasure in that solitary existence.
I will be honest – I hope to make money one day from my novel(s), but I am so content, so blessed in writing what I do in my daily devotions right here and right now. At peace.
Thank you for this most profound and thought-provoking reflection. You affirmed, beautifully, what writing is truly all about.
Blessings to you!
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Martha – Well said. I didn’t start out thinking I’d write a novel, that came almost by accident. Then I wondered if I could earn a living as a writer so I might spend more time writing, since I’ve decided to keep writing and see where the road takes me. I wrote this in hurry in response to a question from a coworker. He still thinks I am kind of nuts, but I had fun. I am stuck on your line, ‘we find peace’ . I might need to borrow.

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Pamela April 28, 2012 at 3:30 am

I agree–I don’t think we can answer the “why.” Great musings.

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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hello Pamela, sometimes there are no reasons for what call the creative in us. Thanks for stopping by.

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Nikky44 April 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

You love to write, and I love to read! Perfect combination. It’s a beautiful poem. Thank you
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Brenda April 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

You are a sweetheart, Nikky, many thanks.

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Kelly Hashway April 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

my passion is for all words. <–This sums it up well.

I write because it's who I am. I can't imagine not writing.
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Brenda April 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I kind of had a hint as to who you are since this writing thing is a subject I enjoy revisiting. I am especially glad, Kelly, you found a phrase that resonates. Yay!

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Heal Now and Forever April 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I like the “can turn stranger into a lover” comment. That will be my answer. It is the only answer!

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Brenda April 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Jodi, that is a darn good one if you ask me. :-)

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Dangerous Linda April 29, 2012 at 2:59 am

nobody asks me ‘why’ i write. i can’t really imagine such a question. i guess i’m surrounded by readers and writers. counting my blessings. XOXO
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Rachel Cherie April 30, 2012 at 2:11 am

When someone asks why I write, I think, “how can I not?” It’s a part of who I am!

I think constructive creative expression is soooo important! Writing may not be for everyone, but it certainly does the trick for me!

~Rachel Cherie
http://www.rachelcherie.com

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Brenda May 1, 2012 at 4:42 am

You called it, Rachel – without it we’re never quite full. Thanks for stopping by.

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Elizabeth Young April 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

Tell them you write so that every time I read your work I catch my breath with recognition, a tear quickly escaping the corner of my eye, with emotion. Tell them you write to mentor younger writers who so desperately need your encouragement and support. Tell them you write because you are a hero to someone who doesn’t even know you, and tell them you write because this is your unique calling and destiny, to bridge a divide with that most precious of commodities: words.
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Brenda May 1, 2012 at 4:44 am

Elizabeth – i’ll not forget that first line, ever. I write because I am connected virtually to other writers who, like me, write because we have lyrics in our hearts.

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Astra April 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Lovely poem. Perfect words.
At a recent writers conference the audience was asked, “Real writers __________” (fill in the blank). Lots of incredible and though-provoking answers. The real answer?

Real writers … write.

I’m not sure if I can answer the question ‘why do I write?’ … just that I do.
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Brenda May 1, 2012 at 4:47 am

Astra, a pang of jealously you’ve had fun and education at writer’s conferences. It’s on my list but I am not sure I am going to make this year. I write because I can, because I enjoy it, because I promised my dad I would not stop, because there isn’t an alternative. I don’t know it means to have write’s block or nothing to write about. Everyday I have a line or two in me waiting for the bright lights and for fame on the page.

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Astra May 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

… because you are blessed … :)
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rimly May 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

You said it all and we people who write can understand very well. Lovely post Brenda.
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Brenda May 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Thanks, Rimly, it was a rush of words to explain the underlying motivation to someone who doesn’t get it. He still does not, if anything he is horrified I would engage in something that takes so much effort when there isn’t a financial gain.

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Elisabeth Kinsey May 4, 2012 at 4:36 am

Essential post about the solitary life. I just got off the phone with another friend and we bitched our being hermits, but we wouldn’t give it up for the world. :)
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Brenda May 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Elisabeth, it is a solitary pursuit. I always joke I am down to 2.5 friends but then again the ones that have gone by the wayside or have become more causal in some respects is better for me because then I don’t have to explain why I get excited when I read a fantastic sentence or have a great idea for a story. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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