Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Write?

I remember writing before I could read. I would fill pages with crayon drawn pictures and then I would sit and tell whoever happened along, what the pictures represented.

As a poor child in the Philippines, books were not something that I was exposed to until I hit the shores of America. In these great states, I discovered something grand and beautiful. I felt like Dorothy walking through the gates of the Emerald City the first time I entered a library. The land of make-believe saved me from having to live in the hardship of my reality. A poor, unwanted, abused child growing up in the racially divided times of the early 70's. When my nose was between the pages of a book, I was not in the library anymore. I was no longer getting yelled at, or being bullied. I was in the land that the book had so graciously transported me to; and when I told stories, I found it was the first time that I had control of my world.

It became clear to me that the world I lived in was so small. As grim as my young world was, there were great things just beyond my reach (I knew this because I read it in a book).

I wrote because writing was a release for my inner demons. When I was writing, I wasn't hurting. When I wrote, I felt beautiful, smart and maybe could even pass for a super hero. However, when I stop writing, the world encroached upon my self-satisfaction and forced me to realize that I was just another wounded soul hoping that eventually the pain of life would ease up.

With time and healing, the pain became the foundation of emotional, mental and spiritual health. But now, where did I and my life long friend, Writing, stand? Did I need her any longer now that there was no need to release the past? It took a long time for me to come back to my old friend. I was more mature, a different woman in a different place. But, had my friend Writing gone the way of some of my school friends? Did writing belong in the world of pain, and it was now time to walk away from it? Did I want to risk being forced to live in a world of hurt just so I could continue this relationship with writing?

In the end, it wasn't my choice. Writing just would not let up, calling my name as if she were an abandoned child looking for her mother. So I went back to writing and found that my stories had more definition. My relationship with writing had never stopped growing, although I'd once thought maybe it was just a tool of survival for a broken little girl. I learned quickly that writing was so much more. It was in my blood, it was me and I was it. If no one ever reads one word that I write, I will continue to write because I love it so. It has never failed me, and so I will never fail it.