Why write?

Some days I ask myself that. For the longest time my goal was to connect with readers, although I never expected to win prizes or make a bundle of money. For one thing, my initial work was poetry and that’s more often than not a gift to the world rather than a source of income. But the concept of readers was a strong motivator. In grad school the all-important thesis was meant to be read and approved by THE COMMITTEE, in my case three men with three ideas of what I might add to the understanding of poetry as a feature in two novels by John Fowles. Somehow, I managed to satisfy that committee and in return I was hired to teach writing.

But that era in my writing life is well in the past. So why do I still do it? I feel guilty if I don’t have a pen in my hand first thing every morning, and there’s a committee in my head judging those unpolished morning pages. I’m still an amateur trying to prove something. Well, it’s long past time to stop trying to please the critic in my head. I do welcome company in my little world, but I want to do more than “just connect.” I also want to discover who I am and what matters to me, with or without a reader.

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