Write to Meaning

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.

2 thoughts on “Write to Meaning

  1. If I had time to stop and consider why I write, I’d have time to write. Ha. I guess my need to write isn’t as strong as yours, Lisa. It’s like an idea waiting to happen…when I’m done teaching, when I don’t have such a complicated life, when I don’t have to care for 2 old dogs and 1 old cat, when…when….when? I try to explain how I need time, but always feel guilty when I take it even though my beloved says nary a word about it. She does comment on things I don’t get done which makes it hard not to feel like I’m shirking my responsibilities. I don’t think that is her goal, but…. I like this post because it, once again, made me think about how I can organize my life to have time. I have to admit that what writing I do accomplish is because I must. I have an idea and I cannot do anything except write about it. All other worries vanish and I don’t feel guilty about ignoring the cleaning or the grading. So it is a conundrum, which I’m pretty sure many (most?) writers go through.

  2. I love this: “I have an idea and I cannot do anything except write about it. All other worries vanish and I don’t feel guilty about ignoring the cleaning or the grading.”

    Yes, I would agree that it is a nearly universal conundrum, and the answer is probably different for each of us. Right now I know I need to focus a bit more and be less “all over the place” with my writing. Still working on that. 🙂

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