Photo by Nick Morrison

“Now transition from warrior 1 to warrior 2,” Kristina instructs, and as I shift my back foot into a more comfortable position and bend my right knee, I think about my common writing transitions. I write the way I think. When I pause, I add a period; it means that my thought was halted or I throw in a comma because I’m drifting into it deeper. That’s why my grammar makes no sense, and I send Beth all of my work, so I don’t embarrass myself with an incohesive sentence.

I’m on the floor, and I try to lay still on the yoga mat in shavasana, I make a promise to myself to come home and write. I lay there thinking about writing. My writing. The craft of writing. The act of writing. My relationship with writing. I actually spent the majority of the class thinking about writing instead of focusing on my breath the way that I am supposed to. I think this defeats the point of going to yoga.

I spent most of my 1-hour class wishfully dreaming. If I win the lottery, I’ll take writing classes and move to the Tuscany hills for six months out of the year to write. If I write that query letter, the agent will take me straight to Penguin House to get published. If I just put my website up, I’m sure the fans will follow. Fact is, I know none of this is true. I know that if I build it, they won’t come. It takes time and dedication. That’s why I’ve promised myself to keep writing. Because even though reality looks nothing like my daydreaming of being a successful writer, I still believe, deep down, that my words matter.

It’s past my bedtime now. I know I will be cranky without 8 hours of sleep, but I spent the last several hours after yoga doing useless things instead of writing. So, I think back to the promise that I made to myself, that I wouldn’t go to bed without getting words on paper. That’s what it means, I think. The respect to adhering to one’s owns promises because that means that you take yourself seriously. At least some of the time. Making up your mind and sticking through with action. Maybe it will teach me to treat my time more wisely. One day. In the meantime, a girl can dream of using her time more productively.

To tell you why I think you should write, I first have to explore why it is that I want to express my creativity in the form of words. Fact is, I don’t have a clear WHY the way some people do. They want to declare their opinion about a certain matter or share their gospel truth. Some have spent years deep-diving into a specific field and have the credentials to share their wisdom with the rest of us as an expert. None of these are my story. I sit down and write, because I’ve resisted for too long, and it’s enslaved me.

I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t have a why, and maybe you don’t either, and that’s okay. Share your words with us regardless. Some people say that knowing your motive is the most important thing to figure out, so you feel real depth and fulfillment. That the answer will be enough to propel you against all the odds to obtain the goal you strive for. That having and declaring your statement “why” is the only way for you to succeed. I’m claiming that it’s rubbish. Looking for the WHY has gotten me nowhere. It stuck me in a hamster wheel of doubt, continually searching with no avail.

So, I’m setting myself free from the notion that the only way to be a writer is to declare and understand why. It’s enough that I spend all of my extra time thinking about building a story, expressing myself with particular words, and wanting to share what I come up with, and I urge you to set yourself free too.

I write for myself and in turn hope that one other person out there might identify with some of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that enrich my life and that I’m exploring. I think we should all write for those that find words that resonant and it helps them feel a little less lonely, those universal truths that can only be understood through stories, through well thought out words and expressions. Those are the reasons to write. No matter if you write for yourself or an audience, the process of writing is freeing. It’s healing. It’s magical, and you should give it a try.

*Written for the Positive Writer contest