Why Write?

At the Geomic Code Research Institute, we have embarked upon a new project that involves one of my favorite activities – writing. We are putting together a collection of stories from some of the remarkable women we’ve met as we have worked in the field of self-development. We’re calling the collection Soul Form: 35 Empowering Truths Every Woman Needs to Hear to Find Happiness. We plan to publish the book in early 2022.

I have seen hesitancy in some of the women I’ve approached about including their story in our book. They offer various reasons – “I don’t know how to write.” –or– “My story isn’t important enough.” The reason I heard the most is in the form of a question (like the gameshow, Jeopardy) – “Why write?” I looked into my own writing over the years to find an answer to that question.

Why do I write? Because I want to, like to. A writing hero of mine is Wallace Stegner, Ken Kesey’s professor at Stanford. In his autobiography, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, in a chapter about the art of writing, Stegner says, “Once, when I was young and trying to learn to write, I used to study the manuals, hopeful that there was a way, and that it could be learned…I remember once going to a lecture entitled ‘How to Write a Short Story Though Ignorant’. I thought that a humorous man who started from right where I was should be able to teach me something…Vain hope…For him, a story was made, not born or discovered or achieved, and if it began as something discovered in life, it was not a story until it had been tugged and pulled to fit his pattern.”

Stegner and his lecturer were big on conflict, which is not my forte. I am a unicorn and rainbow guy, from the West, like Stegner. I love heroes and stories with happy endings, dancing girls, and a raison d’etre (you know the fancy term we borrowed from the French that means “reason to be”) to fill my sails.

My journey through past writing uncovered stories I had written about my personal conflicts and disasters as I rafted the Green River with my boozing buddies. I tried my hand at fiction, developing a character, Buck Dakota, and having him in 1880 becoming a Buddhist heading for the land of good and plenty (aka California).

I stayed with my first writing coach for 15 years and wrote flash fiction, Goldberg Zen pieces, and published poems. I developed an alter ego named “Art Deco”, so I could sneak in bios, stories of Samurai dreams, and tales of hippiedom’s meaningful moments on a farm, in the water, and in past life regressions.

When I worked with The Sage Experience, I learned to get out a yellow legal pad and a pen when something was bothering me and put it into words. No need to travel, except for a trip in my mind down the lane of memories with no distractions and perhaps the companionship of a muse or two.

Why write? Because you can!

So, I can, or where else would all these boxes and notebooks and files on my computer come from? And, you can, too! You can, like me, write about the only life you know – your own. In so doing, you will find purpose, direction, and meaning. As the ancient Greek, Socrates, once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I have found great comfort and amazing stories in asking questions, getting curious, and being interested in the creation process that is good writing. I discovered power in writing as a tool to boost my self-worth – and you can, too!

In the process of self-discovery, you will find, as I did, that you have within you many different “I’s”, making decisions, falling in and out of love, living. I have often wondered – about my many “I’s” – can I ever get them organized and “on the same page” literally and figuratively speaking? I propose that there is a way – by putting into their mouth (my pen or computer) a common purpose, a goal, a primary belief that integrates all of my many facets. Writing about you draws a circle that brings you back to your “self” in a way that makes sense – common sense.

I have spent 73 years seeking order and have received the message that the universe is a fancy restaurant where you only get what you order. The specifics – extra mayonnaise, no cheese, rare or well done, extra napkins – are always my choice. So, we’re back to the question again, “Why write?”

If life is a restaurant, why not just eat (to extend the analogy, why not just read other people’s writing)? Is it fear of indigestion, of overeating? Well, remember that, at a restaurant, ya gotta pick up the tab and leave a tip. Writing your story is paying the tab and leaving a generous tip.

The great coming together that is writing your story still waits to be accomplished. Consider participating in the Institute’s Soul Forms project by submitting your story. I believe you can tell your story with passion and truth.

That brings me back to Wallace Stegner again. Here’s what “Wally” has to say about that, “How to write a story, though ignorant and baffled? You take something that is important to you, something you have brooded about. You try to see it as clearly as you can, and to fix it in transferable equivalent. All you want in the finished print is the clean statement of the lens, which is yourself, on the subject that has been absorbing your attention. Sure, it’s autobiographical. Sure, it’s fiction. Either way, if you have done it right, it’s true.”

If you would like more information about including your story in the Soul Forms book project, please visit Soul Form Books. We welcome your story.

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