Why I Write

I began to enjoy writing early, as soon as I realized that I could make up stories about anything I wanted; I could create worlds and experiences and have things turn out just as I imagined. Over time I learned that life is not always that easy and now I write not to make up new stories but rather to understand myself and the world by taking another look at the old stories that have held my attention for years, if not decades. I write to understand.

My writing starts with an experience, a question, sometimes an awakening, and I try to sort out why a particular story takes hold, what it means for me. And I hope that by writing it down I can figure that out and start a conversation with others.

I also write because there are few other practices that capture my attention like writing. Maybe talking, but writing forces me to sort it out alone, and then decide how much I want to share with the world.

I try to write six days a week. I know some say to write every day, but I need to a day off each week that is left unplanned, except for a few rituals that don’t change. A day spent on revision is still writing; but a day spent on research has to be more than jumping from web page to web page, amusing myself with other people’s business.

Mornings are when I am most focused, and I think my best work gets done before noon. I like to get up with the sun in the summer, later in the dark mornings of winter. But if I don’t get started in the morning, I write when I can, as long as I get words on the page.