Why I Write

This is an essay I wrote as an entry for a conference scholarship. I missed the deadline for the scholarship, but this came from my heart and I’d like to share it with you.

Why Writing Is Important to Me

Me at bottom, with my mother and sister

Me at bottom, with my mother and sister

As a child, I was invisible. The shy second daughter of a working single mother whose devotion exceeded her energy, I did my best to leave the smallest possible footprint on the world.

As an adolescent, I was misunderstood—not by my parents, but by my peers. They mistook introversion for arrogance and assumed my preference for intellectual pursuits equaled disdain for the pursuits of others. I wrote for myself alone.

As a young mother in a difficult marriage, I was lost. My voice was drowned by the demands of children and a husband absorbed in his own needs. I tried to write, but with no encouragement, I soon gave up.

As an older mother with a second family, now in a supportive marriage, I realized at last that my spirit was withering for lack of expression. The only way I could find myself was to pour myself out on the page and watch what took shape. Job and children notwithstanding, I carved out space and time and began to write.

Eight years and four novels later, as a middle-aged woman on the cusp of an empty nest, I have served my apprenticeship. I have honed my craft, persisted through rejection, shared my lessons learned with those just setting out on this daunting but exhilarating road.

I have found my voice. I am ready to be heard. I will not be silenced again.