“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor
Lately, I don’t seem to be able to easily write whole paragraphs. It’s not that I can’t think extended thoughts; it’s just that I see less and less point in reflecting on much of anything. Yet I find myself wanting to write lists. I often write lists out of necessity, but it’s strange for me to want to write lists. There is something in me that wants to take inventory, to take stock of what IS, as if I need to count and quantify everything. By “everything” I don’t mean actual physical objects. I’m thinking about my habits of thought. I want to examine the roots of my perspectives on things, on life.
“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee
Meanwhile, I also feel I need to write in order to guide or even welcome my thoughts. And because I want my writing to be guided, I decided to restart one of the “Blogging University” classes on WordPress. These aren’t really classes but they are helpful prompts and sometimes more detailed suggestions for topics or techniques that could be applied to any blog. This particular “course” is called “Everyday Inspiration” and the first assignment is to write about why we write. I think one of the assignments is going to be to write in the form of a list, so I’m going to list why I want to write at this moment:
- I need to see my thoughts.
- I want to examine my thoughts.
- I want to guide my thoughts toward something at least positive (as in encouraging) if not actually productive.
- I hope to cause some kind of growth progress in my current outlook on life. Simply put, I’m feeling glum and I want to take my mind “by the hand” and move my perspective toward a new vista.
- I want to discern my current priorities.
- I think I’m also wanting to affirm and celebrate my own values and interior micro-culture. So much of the external world around me feels not well-suited to me, to my spirit. When I can’t find what I need, I want to create it or at least affirm the mind/spirit within that seeks.
“Why am I compelled to write? . . . Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger . . . To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit . . . Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin