“Writers use words to create the tree under which readers take shelter.” – Me

Tree Canopy
Tree Canopy

I read a pretty good blog post the other day about how part of talking to others about your work is tell them how you work. I always thought of that idea as too self-indulgent – the proverbial Facebook post about buying socks – but after seeing it written out I see the sense in it. Writers like to read about how other writers “did it” for inspiration, for strength, and to feel as though we’re not alone in our craziness.

The above quote is something that came to me one morning after a productive writing session followed by a good night’s sleep. I fell asleep the night before wondering why it’s okay to want to be a writer. I’m essentially a practical person and the thought of making my life about writing sounded too ephemeral and (again) self-indulgent. There were other things I could do with my time to enrich not only myself and loved ones, but perhaps the world. Doing something that makes you happy should result in helping others…it should give back. I couldn’t think of how writing could do that. That’s when I imagined this quote.

I remembered all the times reading brought me, joy, peace, safety, and myriad other feelings of well-being. I’ve been transported, fallen in love, learned and caught a glimpse of the sacred. The written word has the power to make you feel whole, sane, connected. I’ll admit that it can also make you feel the exact opposite but the journey is usually invaluable. Priceless. Practical.

So, my moment of “why me” was answered in a cliché.

Why not?

Countless writers have given me pleasure and made me think and I can think of no better way of giving back than to return the favor. I hope to give other readers shelter where they can take a few moments to be more.

Why do you write? Why don’t you?

5 thoughts on “On Writing – The Tree

  1. Love this post, especially the quote!

    To my mind, storytelling is nothing short of miracle. Writers build worlds that never existed, then people them with characters whose lives are never dull for a moment. Readers can escape into an alternate reality, getting a much-needed break from ‘normal’ life, sometimes even letting them forget their sorrow and pain. Indeed, it’s the shelter you spoke of.

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