Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory. (Tennessee Williams)
I write because life hands us more disappointment than joy, more hardship than ease, and getting past the hurdles – or not – is what makes one’s character. Years ago, when I moved to Boston from the then tiny hamlet of Chapel Hill, I came to know two older women who had survived the holocaust, tattoos intact on their inner arms. One, my neighbor, gave to others in our apartment building with grace even though she herself scraped by with only her social security benefits and no family to help her. The other, who with her American husband built a family empire based on a string of seafood restaurants and real estate holdings, bickered with her tenants over fixing 30-year old refrigerators, cockroach infestations, and broken windows. I write because I find so many people, or facets of people, unsatisfactory. I write to understand their motivations.
Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
No one leads a gilded life. No one lives on a perpetual cloud of bliss. The grass never is greener. Those people who appear to live on easy street are the ones who have the most to hide, the most to mourn. A hero is someone who conquers insurmountable obstacles and arrives on the other side. The obstacle may be infertility, an abusive parent, a stint in Afghanistan, mental illness, a childhood spent in luxury. I am curious about how obstacles shape people, especially those who make passage through them. I write about how people become when they reach the other side.
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. (Anais Nin)
I do not write fluff. I write to get at the hard stuff of life, to make sense of it. I write to understand actions, or lack of actions. I write to make sense of my life.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. (Maya Angelou)
I strive to write in hopes that my sense of my life helps you make sense of yours. If any of my words makes you pause and say: this moves me, this provokes me, this makes me see this situation with more compassion, then I have succeeded.
One of the pleasant things those of us who write or paint do is to have the daily miracle. It does come. (Gertrude Stein)
Every day I write with purpose results in at least one small epiphany. Sometimes, the epiphany extends and becomes what I call the flow. When I enter the flow, I become one with my craft, myself, my universe and higher being. It is sheer energy, one which reenergizes when the body and mind and spirit flag. I reach for this miracle, daily.
The amazing Cathy Webster tagged me with this “Why I Write” meme. Please, read her essay which is funny and sassy and sad and has all the characteristics which qualifies Cathy as one of the finest people who write about LIFE. And now, I pass along the baton to these word-spinners who writes what is real and from the best places of their hearts:
Michael J. Solender
Why do you write? Peace...