J. Barrett

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Writing

I sometimes wonder why I want to write, what it is about it that I find so life-giving.
Growing up, I remember saying that I enjoyed reading so much that I wanted to write so I could give that joy to someone else.
Most of my work now is read only by me, and I hardly read it once it's on paper, or the computer screen, as it were.
It gives me a chance to work things out, to get words out of my head, to see how I really feel about things. It allows me to express myself in ways which are truer and longer lasting than anything I might say aloud, because I can write slowly, and change what it says. I wish I could speak slowly enough that I could think out all of what I was saying before it was out; I think most of what I say is forgotten, anyway, by me and by the listener.
The words may be forgotten, but I can reference them as long as they remain in memory, electronic or print.
I write because it gives me access to things which could conceivably outlast me. It gives me a chance for some legacy of my ideas, fleeting though it may be.
I write because I know that no one will understand me until I do.

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