Why Write?

20 Jun

 

Yesterday I wrote a guest post for my friend Jeff Goins, on  why writers need to enter into the stories they tell. Jeff  is an excellent communicator and offers tons of great advice on art, creativity, blogging and making a difference in the world. I recommend his blog to everyone interested in writing. You need to check out his Writers Manifesto. The Writers Manifesto is a call for all writers to abandon the notion of fame and glory and write simply because they must. It captures the heart and soul of writing in a punchy simple declaration that is sure to leave you challenged, inspired and ready to create. It reminded me why I bother to write in the first place: not in hope of fame, but because I believe the act of writing itself is sacred. I was reminded that I am not alone in this.

This is something I have been pondering a lot lately.

Especially since I’ve found myself at a place in life where I am literally doing nothing but freelance writing.

Last night someone asked me what that meant. I replied, “It’s just a nice way of saying I am a starving artist!”

This weekend I was at a party and this older gentleman asked me what I do. I told him I was a writer and he gave me this smile and look that seemed to say, “Awww how cute.” He then looked at me all serious and grandfatherly and asked, “Is that something you want to do with the rest of your life?”

I smiled at him and said confidently,”Yes sir, it’s the only thing I could ever see myself doing with my life.”

Sometimes, I still  hear the voices in my mind that say, “This is stupid, you can’t ever make a ‘career’ out of this, who are you kidding? Your spelling and grammar is a mess, you’ve never even been to college. You know nothing. Go do something useful.”

But those voices are death.

I am slowly getting to the point where I really don’t care if I am “good” at writing or not.

It’s like asking if I am good at breathing.

I need to write. Even if no one reads these words but me, ( and my dad and boyfriend, two guaranteed fans no matter what.)

I need to partake in this act of creating. The act of words appearing out of thin air. Squeezing out thoughts and ideas into being. Entering into someone’s story and telling it.

I can’t live without this.

I read in Shauna Niquest’s book Bittersweet yesterday, (I swear that woman is my soul-twin. Is that creepy? Probably.)

We stay in our chairs (writing) and fight the urge to fold laundry, desperate for something to control, something orderly and safe instead of the wild, untamed world of our own secret feelings and imagination. And we do it because it makes us feel aware and alive and created for a purpose more then anything else in our lives.

Yes.

I write because it makes me feel aware and alive and created for a purpose more then anything else in my life.

I can’t not write.

And the act of writing itself is sacred.

Here is a quote from the guest post. This is something I developed when I was in India as sort of my “Statement of Belief” about why I write:

Storytelling is much more then an ancient art around a campfire, or a group of kids in a circle at the library.

It is much more then building your platform as a writer or fame and glory. It is eternally important .

The daring act of speaking truth or putting it on paper is courageous. It is lighting a candle where there was only darkness before. In doing this, we bring a little bit of heaven to earth.

I must continue day by day to feebly attempt to express the inexpressible.

I must put words to these things.

 


4 Responses to “Why Write?”

  1. Jeff Goins June 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Thanks, Brooke. I loved this post. You’re one of my favorite writers and storytellers.

  2. Nann Flowers June 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Brooke, I think that writing is one of the scariest, most self-exposing, heart-laid-bare things that one can do. It is the essence of human existence. After all, are we really alive if no one else knows and shares our lives? I keep many things held closely to my chest in fear that either they aren’t going to be received well, that I will push someone from me, or that I will be exposed as the true reprobate that I can be. God bless you for risking it all.

  3. Ed Tolleson Jr June 22, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    I think your writing is fantastic. I write because I enjoy it and to let my emotions and thoughts out. Grammar and punctuation do not matter nearly as much as getting your thoughts out so they can be understood.

    I agree with Nann. Thank you for sharing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Rhizome Shelf | The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins - March 23, 2012

    […] Brooke Luby, Freelance Writer […]

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