Why I Write

Nina looking up dougfir-LHP

Nina with Douglas Fir, BC

Writing is the breath and light of my soul and the well-spring of my very essence. When I am writing, I am living “in the moment”.

I am in the moment of creation, connected to my divine self, embracing Nature and the entire fractal Universe.

I am doing something important.

I am connecting with you.

Isaac Asimov said, “I write for the same reason I breathe—because if I didn’t, I would die.” That was every bit as true when he was unpublished as after he’d published a bazillion books. He was talking metaphorically, spiritually and quite literally. I know that if I don’t write, I am denying my soul its breathing life. This is more than metaphoric truth; it is scientifically proven. Expressive writing — whether in the form of journaling, blogging, writing letters, memoir or fiction — improves health.

Whether you publish or not, your writing is important and worthwhile. Take ownership of it, nurture it, and hold it sacred. Command respect from others and respect all writers in turn; don’t let ignorance intimidate you to silence.

My colleague, Louise DeSalvo wrote in her book, Writing as a Way of Healing:

“Many people I know who want to write but don’t or who want to write more but say they can’t find the time, have told me that taking the time to write seems, well, self-indulgent, self-involved, frivolous even. And that finding the time to write—even a diary, much less fiction or memoir or poetry—in their busy schedules is impossible. ‘I’ll write when I have the time,’ they say … What, though, if writing weren’t such a luxury? What if writing were a simple, significant, yet necessary way to achieve spiritual, emotional, and psychic wholeness? To synthesize thought and feeling, to understand how feeling relates to events in our lives and vice versa? What if writing were as important and as basic a human function and as significant to maintaining and promoting our psychic and physical wellness as, say, exercise, healthful good, pure water, clean air, rest and repose, and some soul-satisfying practice?”

Of course, in our hearts we know this is true. DeSalvo adds of her long journey toward accepting writing in her life: “I didn’t know that if you want to write, you must follow your desire to write … I didn’t know that you could write simply to take care of yourself, even if you have no desire to publish your work. I didn’t know that if you want to become a writer, eventually you’ll learn through writing … all you need to know about your craft … I didn’t know that if you want to write and don’t, because you don’t feel worthy enough or able enough, not writing will eventually begin to erase who you are.”

Writing, like any form of creativity, requires faith; in ourselves and in others. And that’s scary. It’s scary because it requires that we relinquish control. All the more reason to write. Resistance is a form of self-destruction, says Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way (1992). We resist to maintain some idea of control but instead we increase depression, anxiety, and confusion. Booth et al (1997) found that written disclosure significantly reduces physiological stress on the body caused by inhibition. We were born to create. Why do we demure and resist? Because, says Cameron, “we have bought the message of our culture … [that] we are meant to be dutiful and then die. The truth is that we are meant to be bountiful and live.”

Nina-cool amid dougfir-LHP

Nina stands between two giant Douglas firs in Lighthouse Park, BC

Joseph Campbell wrote: “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.” Cameron adds, “It is the inner commitment to be true to ourselves and follow our dreams that triggers the support of the universe. While we are ambivalent, the universe will seem to us also to be ambivalent and erratic.”

When I write, I live in the moment, at one with the divine moment of creation.

In bliss…

8 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. Hello Nina. Thank you for your posts. They are most inspirational and motivational. I am glad that I found you. I started to write when I was ten meaning I handwrote short stories and a fantasy novel. My friends read them and seemed to like it as also my parents friends. Along the way, my family had to move and so I started the process of experiencing a different environment of education, I stopped. In this new environment personal opinions were not encouraged wether verbally or written. Learning was by rote only. But I still enjoyed reading English literature. quite a luxury in my area at the time. In my twenties I focused on dance, a non verbal way of expressing oneself , so much safer!. So writing with my body became my artistic expression. I have now rediscovered writing after all these years when I have come to realize there is so much yet to be written about my own artistic process in dance, and also of my friends, most of them quite prominent choreographers in my country. I have found that yes, writing is a scary process when I think of publishing. I keep putting off, I freeze, I fall back into the way I was drilled into all through school years after moving. Silence. Now I am putting myself through school again , so I have my wonderful professors force me to write essays for the need to pass (terrible isn’t it but it seems to be working). But another funny thing. I have found I am most comfortable writing in English, though I realize I am probably a long way from mastering the language. English somehow feels like home. My other language still seems scary so that’s for classes only and for when I teach to encourage my students to speak up in class (ever so gently because I know what a painful process it is just to speak up). So again thank you, for your posts, Terimakasih and salam.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Madia. I’m happy to hear that you are writing and have found a way to express your art. Creativity is so important to our well being. I truly believe that if everyone of us could exercise our creativity to the fullest, there would be no war, little strife and a great deal more peace in the world. You are very welcome, Madia. Peace be with you.
      Best Wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Looking for Great Science Fiction Reading? | Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

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