Posting this seems oh-so-ridiculous, considering the drivel that has preceded it. Thankfully my (miniscule) audience tends to be exceedingly loving, forgiving, and strongly prejudiced in my favor. Sometimes writing– or at least, posting!– does indeed take courage. Even little blog posts, and especially when we are talking about ourselves.
I write because the written word is my voice. I am frustratingly handicapped when communicating orally and extemporaneously. There are bright, beautiful moments when what comes out mirrors what I am trying to get across, and then there is a lot of scrabbling around for words and coming up short. And once they come out, there is no editing. It is impossible to erase or replace what has been said. Of course, this is exactly what the process of writing consists of: scrabbling around for words, then erasing and replacing and rearranging until the page, paragraphs, sentences and letters metamorphose into a mirror image of that inner thought… or rather become the perfect form which carries that thought into another mind, and releases it to be realized anew.
I also write because there is something that pushes me to create, and language is the artistic medium in which I feel most at home. Reading certain passages from East of Eden reminds me of standing before a massive, exquisitely executed scene painting. It is breathtaking, not so much for the story the words describe, but the way they saturate my whole being: words that have taste and texture, that burn in bright colors. John Steinbeck spoke with his own voice, and somehow he made poetry with deliberate prose. Jane Austen crafts her pictures so masterfully, and yet so very slyly: first, you find yourself immersed in a flood of words; then you come out again on the other side of the paragraph, and find that the meaning, the clear and sparkling thought, has insinuated itself into your head. You see.
So then: for me, to write is to speak with my own voice. To write is to craft art through the medium of language.