Last week, my friend Diana Schwenk shared her thoughts on writing and handed off #WhyIWrite to me.
Creativity will out
People are creative – whatever outlet they choose. And if one outlet is not available, that creativity will find its way out into the world somehow.
For as long as I can remember, I was dancing, singing, acting. I loved to draw and paint. But I’ll admit, writing – especially creative writing – scared me.
But life happens, change happens, priorities shift. I grew up. Few employers wanted to pay me to sing or act. When I began my nonprofit career in professional theater, I no longer had time for performing. But I learned to write to our donors. Writing, once scary, became a fun challenge. And the more I did, the better I got.
Despite my history, I’m an introvert. I don’t like to speak before I think. I try to listen more than talk. That’s why I prefer writing over speaking. It gives me time to think. It gives me a chance to get it right. I don’t have to fill the silence with “um” while I consider my words. And yes, it lets me feel like I have more control.
Writing is a craft, a skill that can be learned. It’s satisfying to put what you’ve learned to work. Especially when that work is for a great organization. It’s even better when what you’ve written works. There’s nothing quite like a stack of return envelopes in the mail to make your day.
I have no plans to write a novel. But what I do write – to and for donors – is creative. I share stories and I look for a reaction from my readers. That reaction helps organizations do their work. It makes the world a happier, kinder, more beautiful place. That’s such a privilege!
How about you? Why do you write?