Why I Write

It’s been two weeks since I finished collaborating on a new writing project. Since then,  I have allowed myself precious time to sit on my deck and reflect over the whirlwind of the past year. Releasing Untangled, emerging from the shadows of silence, blogging, speaking to groups, and now preparing to pitch our project, I ask myself, Why do I write?

When I speak to groups and open it up for questions, I’m almost always asked, what made you write a book, or have you always been a writer? The answer to both is, “no!” I never wrote anything beyond copy for ads, or random newsletter articles for my jobs before 2011. I didn’t keep a journal, never was a huge letter writer, I really never gave writing a thought.

When I began therapy my therapist suggested that I journal. Most of us have been told by our therapist’s to journal our thoughts and feelings. I despised journaling. I would become so emotional, because often, the pages looked like one big opus for wanting to end my life. I would literally tear up the pages after I wrote them, despondent because I couldn’t separate my feelings from what I wanted to write about. It was all emotion and no substance, no thoughts, no depth and it felt destructive. So I refused to continue to journal.

But, I found myself writing emails to my therapist and we would talk about them at our next session. It was becoming evident that I was looking for a way to write down my thoughts. My therapist went to a conference on PTSD. At the conference, he learned that when clients journaled on a keyboard, (not pen and paper) that it was easier for them to keep journaling. The act of using a keyboard was incorporating bilateral stimulation which helped put some distance between the terrible trauma and intense feelings and they were able to keep writing longer. That made perfect sense to me, so I began to use writing as a healing tool.

Writing gave me the courage I needed to address the pain I was feeling. I would write even when I thought I had nothing to write about. At first, I strictly used it for bilateral stimulation. I would write and send what I wrote off to my therapist. I started to find that I was able to write down what I couldn’t say aloud.  At first, I think it provided distance from having to use my voice, but then I found it actually gave me a voice.  When I still couldn’t speak a truth, I found if I read it out loud to my therapist, that I was speaking the truth.

Eight years after that first assignment to journal on a keyboard, I have written four books, had a number of published articles and enjoy engaging on my blog. I reflect on writing from a different perspective. Now, I write because I love to share what I’m thinking, feeling or musing over. I write because I’ve had feedback from others, to help give them a voice, to put feelings into words that they may be unable to describe. Writing is a way to be seen and heard, especially by a group who suffers from mental illness and are often marginalized.

I write because I will no longer be shamed into silence. But, I also control the volume of my voice. I want to be effective in destigmatizing mental illness, invisible illness, for me, PTSD. I know that I’m a quiet word of mouth writer. It fits my personality. I love the writers who are more vocal, and speak with confidence and often, they know the volume of their voice and can reach a much wider audience.

I write because it fills my cup, it satisfies my creativity and it keeps me connected to the world. I care deeply about what I write and share, hoping that the connection between us continues to grow. Sometimes that starts with a simple written word.

Why do you write?




Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph




35 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. Vera Stuart

    I write because… I find myself when I do.
    I write because… I want to be heard and understood.
    I write because… I don’t know, it transports me to a world of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So strange. I write for the same reasons you do AND began because a therapist suggested I start writing in a journal. You could have written what you did on my page and wouldn’t have had to change much at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Yinin's Thoughts and commented:
    I loved this. Unlike Untangled, I’ve pretty much always written, but I could never stick to it as a kid. I always wanted to keep a journal, but it would always peter out… Now I’m blogging and what was meant to be a once-a-week venture suddenly has two posts a week (sometimes three) waiting in my queue for two months before they go live! Another eight posts are dragged, half-written, and my book has actually made it all the way to The End now I’m typing rather than writing. There’s certainly a lot to be said for typing rather than hand writing – and it seems like I write because I have a lot to say…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Writing my blog was my outlet too. It took a while to pluck up the courage to do it though, but this was because I wasn’t sure if I would feel I had anything to write and whether I would keep it up. But I am still here and i cannot believe how long I have been writing it. It still helps me, but now I find it helps others too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I write to help myself heal, and to help others feel “not so alone”. I also hope that readers will learn something, about me, their disease, or themselves. I am on a journey, and I don’t want to travel alone.

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s