Wednesday, March 22, 2017

why write if it's hard?

Life is just plain crazy sometimes (right now, for sure), and I haven't gotten the chance to put more than a couple of sentences together in what seems like ages. Believe me when I say that it's adding to the insanity for me--Nathan has said many times that writing is my therapy, the thing that keeps me sane.

I'm a word person, but I'm not a big talker. That changes if you know me really well (or if it's really late at night...there's something about that time that makes my defenses come down), but for the most part I would rather do my talking on paper. My mind is a chaotic, jumbled place, with totally unrelated thoughts bumping into the thoughts I actually want to have and getting all mixed in together. You see, I think sometimes my mouth moves too fast for my brain and the words come out before I have a chance to really think about them, and then they come out all jumbled. When I write, though, I guess there's more processing time between my head and my hand. Somehow, the words have the chance to get straightened out along the way, and the chaos that is always in my mind doesn't get to interfere quite as much with the words that come out through my hands.

So I write.
not me writing, but those are my notebooks...so it counts.

I don't write because it's easy. In fact, sometimes writing feels like the hardest thing in the world to do. Sometimes I agonize over the right word to say just the right thing, because words have the ability to take on a life of their own when you least expect it. Sometime I go back and rewrite everything I've just done, or rip out pages full of ink from a notebook because I wasn't getting it quite right. Sometimes this writing thing feels like the hardest thing for me to do. But I write.

I write because it changes my outlook when I can see everything down on paper. I can organize my thoughts and figure them out; pin down exactly what it is I'm thinking. I can straighten out my hopes and fears (because sometimes the line between them is incredibly thin). When I write, my mind calms and the chaos is held at bay for a little while.

I write because I can pour myself out on paper--the good, the bad, and the ugly--and lay my soul bare without seeing exactly how people react. You see, I over analyze absolutely everything around me. Every tiny flinch or grimace or twitch seems like a reaction that I need to understand...but the problem is, I don't. So if my words are on paper--if my heart is laid out on paper--I don't have to try to decipher the reactions. Though sometimes, not knowing the reaction is almost as bad as trying to read every tiny facial expression when I'm talking to someone.

I write because life just makes more sense to me that way. The words and the sentence structure go together to give my thoughts a rhythm, and that rhythm has beauty and substance. Sometimes it's harmonious and sometimes it's discordant, but at least that way I can tell if it fits. That way, I can tell if I fit.

I write because when I write, nothing else really seems to matter. For that short time, I don't feel like there are a hundred different things that I need to get done or a hundred different directions that I'm being pulled. While I write, I get lost in an entirely different world.

I write novels because I believed C.S. Lewis when he said, "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." I don't think fiction is an escape so much as it's a deeper look at reality. In stories we can see ourselves for who we are and who we want to be, all at the same time. We are reminded of what truly matters in life, but it's done in a way that lets us think we've come to those realizations on our own instead of being preached at.

I write because I am part of every story, every character, every quest. I'm the hero and the villain, the damsel and the knight and the dragon. I'm the one standing to do battle and the one cowering in the dark to hide from the monsters.

I write because it is who I am. Whether my writing is read by millions or by no one, I write because writing in woven into the core of my being, the gift I've been given by the One who made me. How can I not?

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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy