A friend has asked me if I would like to be the next in a line of bloggers who are writing posts about why they write. It's a topic that I often consider, and have briefly tried to explain before, and so I was very keen. There was a list of questions, which I'm afraid I have taken very little notice of, but essentially, here is my answer. Much of it is also based on my writing on my other blog, Griefprint:
My head is a spacious place. A spacious palace even, if I may say so. It's filled with colour and crystal, jewels and mirrors, extravagant clothes and lush rugs. And there are dusty cellars and dark dungeons, damp cupboards and collapsing shelves. And all of it's pretty messy. And as you know, I like order. I like to know what I have and where I can find it. I like to be able to see my way through my home.
And so I write.
I write to clear my head. To define what I am thinking. To tidy up and neatly package the chaos that is spinning around in there. To bring it to a place of quiet. To wrap it up in something beautiful where it is safely collected, and also, where I can come back to it anytime. To stop chasing it round my head at all times of the day and night, and be able to grab hold of it and look at it.
I also write to connect with other people. To find and create community. To find and create support. Writing in a public place makes me write the best that I can, and sometimes it helps to hold me accountable. In writing about grief, I like to have others understand a little of what it is like, as I tend not to communicate it in any other way. And I've said before that each time your hearts break a little it helps to give mine a little boost. You're sharing the load. I think it is easier to have people know how it is for me. And I have said that capturing my thoughts beautifully, accurately and satisfyingly is the holy grail of writing. For some reason, while my experience of loss and grief is only black and ugly, I have come to see my collection of writing as a very precious jewel. I'm not sure I can explain that just yet.
Writing on The Sponge has also helped me to remember to look for the beauty in life. A very worthwhile homework project. I am often distracted by the tatty and mundane things in life that are flitting around my head, but there sure is a community of us out there who can connect over the mundane. I like to create beauty too (you will agree we nailed it so well with our children I could pack up and go home now) and I love to try and find it in writing.
Thanks for reading.
I was very happy to be tagged in the chain of blog writers, but slightly less comfortable about tagging someone else. If you are a blog writer and would like to feature your answers as to why you write (to post next Monday), do drop me a line, and I'll pop a link up to your blog here.
UPDATE: And here is that link! I am looking forward to reading why Ann writes at Maman! I need help!
I'm glad that she does. Go and check it out.
I was asked if I would like to write this post by Michael, who writes A View From the Middle. More than appropriate, as it was Michael who taught me that the best way to write is as yourself.
If you ventured over to Griefprint for the first time, I would love to know that you have visited.