Slice of Life 2013

Slice of Life 2013 April 9: Why Do You Write?

on April 9, 2013

Slice of Life

On today’s Slice of Life posting, Stacy asked the question “Why do you write?”

I write because there is no better way to make sense of my world. Writing helps me to process, clarify, and ponder life.

I write because writing is a challenge. While I love to write, I am always intimidated by the blank page and usually feel like what I write won’t be good enough. Still, I love the creative process of crafting a piece of writing and the satisfaction I feel when I am able to produce what I set out to do.

I write to connect with others. One of the things that I most admire in writers is their ability to write words that so perfectly capture a mood or experience that I’ve had in my life, and perhaps have never been able to adequately articulate. It’s like that moment when you read a perfect line and say to yourself “yes, that’s exactly how I felt!” For example, I love this line from Elizabeth Strout’s latest novel, The Burgess Boys:

“Perhaps if she was still young she would be driving by the home of Charlie Tibbets, but there was no sap left in her. The thick sugary pull of life had gone.” (Italics are mine)

Don’t you just love that description?

The written word allows us all to connect. I feel less alone in the world when I read others’ writing. My goal is to share my experiences so that maybe someone else will realize they are not alone, either. I am drawn to the redemptive nature of writing.

I write because I have a strong desire to be heard. I grew up as a hearing child with two deaf parents. Communicating with my parents was challenging, and their ability to fully understand me and my siblings was limited. They lip-read and we spoke to them. They did not teach us sign language and we only learned basic finger-spelling. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized our inability to sign essentially created a situation where we had parents who spoke a language we didn’t fully understand. While we could communicate, we lacked depth to our conversations and much of what we discussed was surface-level, easy to share information. The deeper things like thoughts and feelings never quite made the translation. Wanting, no needing to be heard became paramount in my life. Writing fills that void for me.

When I write I feel that I am doing exactly what I was born to do.



3 responses to “Slice of Life 2013 April 9: Why Do You Write?

  1. mvervinck says:

    As a linguist, I found your story to be very interesting. I am glad you found a way to express yourself. We all need that. We all need ways to think, ponder and reflect. Plus, it is wonderful when others respond to our stories. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wow…this is why you should write! I sense there are more stories to tell about being a hearing child of deaf parents.

  3. Gail, this is a beautiful post and you definitely should not let a blank page intimidate you! I think that the idea of becoming a writer in a home with deaf parents could be a novel that could have really important messages about words and relationships.

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