Private Revolution: M Is for Meaning

Last night I had the pleasure to attend and read a short piece of writing at Red Oak Writing’s Writers’ Showcase. The room was packed with people, including several members of the Writing Roundtable I have been attending for several months, all of whom had one thing in common: we write. See photos from the event on the Red Oak Writing’s Facebook page.

On the drive home, I thought about why I write. I could say I love to write, but, as every writer knows, that’s not always true. At times writing does come with an unexpected ease and joy, but often it’s more akin to—with a nod to Augustine—”Lord, make me write–but not yet.”

I write not because I love to but because I have to. I don’t remember not writing or not wanting to be a writer. When I was a child, I made my own poetry chapbooks with construction paper and yarn before I knew what chapbooks were. In high school, I wrote short stories and articles for the school paper. In college, I majored in journalism before switching to English. After graduation, I worked as a technical writer. When our son was young, I wrote a column for the Outpost Exchange about food and cooking. I started a newsletter, wrote reviews and articles for magazines, continued to write short stories and dabble in poetry. I wrote books about parenting and education to help my own understanding. I started this blog.

Why do I write? I write as a way to get closer to some kind of meaning, not just though content or topics but through the very act of writing itself. When I write, I feel more alive, more grounded, closer and closer to being myself. Writing as a path to meaning is not dependent on genre or publication or even readership. It requires only that we write, maybe not every day, but often enough.

How does writing bring meaning to your life?

Below is a video of how Red Oak Writing Roundtables work.


This post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. For more on my 2016 theme of Private Revolution, see A Is for Ambition. Click here to read all posts in the Private Revolution A to Z Challenge blog series.