Why Write?

Why do we write?

We write to get what is inside outside.

We write to connect.

We write to explore the "I" as universal.

We write because we think we might have something to share, especially when verbal words fail. (In conversation, I find that swear words work best.)

We write because we suspect that, really, we are mostly all the same more or less approximately alike (sic.) and we need each other.

Who's we, paleface? I can confidently use "we" because artists and writers talk about this a lot: In the midst of any flurry of creativity, artists I have known say they experience as much soul-searching drama as inspiration. When we write we expose, and exposure is vulnerability. We expose ourselves to criticism, and we put the tender parts of our souls on public display.

Some artists couldn't care less. They get famous and live fabulous lives. Or maybe one day they become Robin Williams or Anthony Bourdain.


The good stuff lives at the intersection of broad-chested bravery, wide-eyed naiveté, and utter foolhardiness. It is a dangerous and glorious place to visit.


* I also write because the ability to form complex sentences and express complex ideas using complex vocabulary is supernumerary when you spend all day with nine year olds. As is a thesaurus. (You seriously think I knew what supernumerary means?)