Thursday, July 18, 2019

Why Write? Why Read

Here I am, reappearing for my annual check in with my creative self.

This past year I revisited poetry a bit, and of course kept journaling, journaling every day - but life - well, life demands what it does. I immersed myself in my teaching life and it felt grand. My personal life placed new demands on me, demands at a deep, soul-level as I encountered the realities that aging can throw your way. So this year was about learning.

Now it is summer. I meet my writing self as you might meet an estranged lover after a long separation. It's awkward, uncertain. I wonder if the old spark is still there, and whether I want to reignite it again or not.

But I have been reading. A lot. Poetry, nonfiction, essay, novels, articles. Funny how reading can feel, these days, like "goofing off" or "doing nothing."  But writers read. Writers read.

And humans read. Perhaps I will begin to remember why I write by noticing why I read. I read to explore topics and stories that resonated with friends and acquaintances and they recommended to me. I read to explore ideas and tales that sparked my interest when I encountered them in other text. I read to expand my thinking on the world. I read to get lost in a story that ultimately widens my vision of what it means to be human. I read to find comfort and wisdom and advice. I read to challenge myself to think more deeply about other people's experiences and history and culture. I read to escape. I read to engage. I read to take part in the vast human conversation that transcends time and space.

And that is why I write, too.

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