Why I write...

So many things make me happy: the smell of mulled cider drifting through the house on a cool autumn night, the taste of slightly smoky single malt scotch, the quiet tick of a mechanical watch held close to the ear, the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony. Unfortunately, many of these things that bring me happiness are fleeting – eventually the bottle runs dry, the symphony ends, and the autumn leaves give way to a bright, white cocoon.

One thing that brings me happiness continuously and consistently, though, is writing. Everything about the process of creating stories, poetry, and essays makes me happy – from the moment of inception, when the kernel of an idea materializes out of the ether, through the process of construction, a cycle of writing and revising and writing and revising, to the final step of publishing, when my creation is unveiled and unleashed.

Writing can be challenging, to be sure. Sometimes the process feels uninspired. Sometimes it feels daunting. Sometimes it is deliberate – putting down one word at a time, one word after another until the end of a line. But even those times bring me joy – they are obstacles to be overcome, mountains to be climbed, and rivers to be forged. On the other side of each is uncharted territory, and discovering new lands is always exciting.

Even the physical act of writing makes me happy – from the beginning, when the pen glides across the surface of my notebook, to the end, when my fingers tap-tap-tap across the keyboard.

Beyond the joy of creation and expression, though, lies a level of happiness that is deep and powerful – it fulfills me and leaves me hopeful. I have hope that some part of me will endure even though my body must eventually succumb to the relentless march of time. When I am a faded memory in the faded memories of those who once knew and loved me, I hope that some of my words remain behind to tell the story of who I was and what I contributed to the world.

Hope. Creation. Expression. These are the reasons that writing makes me happy.