Discovering Why Writers Write

this is exactly what my last keyboard looked like

I started writing very tentatively about nine months ago. I had mothered nine children and helped run a hobby farm for 30 years without actually sitting down and producing anything besides editing high school or university essays for my kids. No that is not a typo; it had been 30 years not months since I had the time to actually sit with the intention of writing. Naturally when I did stare at a modern keyboard, I froze. For one thing it was not my old manual typewriter that I had pounded on as a poor student but something modern and completely foreign.

I considered writing to be a solitary craft but looking at a blank screen or talking into thin air was a sterile exercise in futility for me. I could not translate the same creative energy that I experienced telling a story verbally to the keyboard. My intuitive, imaginative side stayed buried and my logical intellect wrote boring drivel at the beginning.

I realize now that I really am a story-teller. My oral skills have always been excellent, even as a small child. I delight in the energy and flow of words, dramatic gestures and the relationship with even one listener when I tell one of our legendary stories about the exploits of nine kids on a farm. Yes, my Irish side is alive and well.

Yet does that mean I need public applause to function? It is unnerving to realize that onlyafter a few websites have published some articles and poems, I am now starting to feel legitimate, an equal to other so-called writers. I am writing better, well most of the time, because I have given my creative side the permission to rise up and speak. Of course I know that I am a long way from authorship but it is nice to ask for a connection on Linkedin from a writer or editor of an albeit small company without cringing with embarrassment.

There are many articles and posts written about why people write but honestly, in my opinion, people who write are want be read, to be heard. Blogs or articles submitted to Broowaha are not personal diaries or self-indulgent introspection. We write to engage with other people, to contribute our voice to the issues in our society or to share an insight that might help a fellow human being. We write because no one has the same experiences or the same opinions as we do. We write because we have discovered a voice that is unique, a voice that simply must communicate.

For me the joy mothering has been my call, my vocation and my silent witness to the world for 32 years. Now writing has become the method of expressing that vocation to a world that has largely forgotten the wisdom of mothers and more importantly, the wisdom of children.



4 thoughts on “Discovering Why Writers Write

  1. Melanie, I hope this is not overly fussy, but did you mean to write “the joy mothering” or was that supposed to be “the joy OF mothering?” I have a feeling what you meant from the picture of your son on the horse, stll, the “joy mothering” has an incredibly delicious ring to it in that you seem to be defining motherhood in lieu of simply describing motherhood. Anyway, I hope this makes sense and thank you for sharing again.


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