by Sheila Bender
It isn’t an easy path to write from personal experience. There are no guarantees that editors will want to publish what we have to say and no guarantees that we will successfully find a way to say it, publication or not. What is guaranteed is that committing words to the page and revising our writing until it successfully makes contact with others changes our lives in unexpected directions.
Writing takes courage and affirmations about writing help us value our personal writing and acquire this courage. After a Writing It Real writers’ conference during which participants shared fresh work and enjoyed time to help one another craft their early starts, I wrote these:
That we write because we feel the need,
That we write because we want to reflect on the meaning in our experience,
That we write because we want to get something down for others to read after we are gone,
That we write because we are alive and writing makes us more alive,
That we write because it is a form of play,
That we write because it brings us into contact with other writers whose minds and hearts we resonate with,
That we write because it makes us the people we want to be
makes writing a gift we cannot refuse to accept.
Sharing our writing with trusted readers and learning to hear what our writing wants to discover, we not only grow our poems, our essays, and our stories but we grow ourselves, creating a path toward self-actualization.