Why Does Writing Really Matter?


Why does writing really matter?” he asked me. I thought about it for only a brief moment as the answer plainly introduced itself, “Because there are things that one cannot say.” “How true,” I thought after speaking those words. Perhaps I should have written them. I have come to realize that though I’m not currently writing to live that it’s the process of free-writing that releases us, let’s the bullshit fly from our fingers to make room for the gems hidden beneath. I use the terms “writing to live” with the intention of revealing the therapy that writing once provided me.“But if I cannot speak it, why should writing be different?” he then asked. I realized that this new question was quite difficult to answer. Perhaps speaking the answer would reveal very little of the truth behind my statement. Perhaps only living the experience would drive the truth home.


I went looking for a journal at the age of 12, aware that there were things that I had to get out that I couldn’t share with anyone; so frightening were my thoughts, or so I imagined, that they could only be written. Something about the silence, or the singular sounds of pen to paper, was comforting. The rhythm of my hand against the cool, smooth page – furiously at times, hesitantly at others, yet always eager to continue to use words to release the pressure of too many ideas – became an addictive sensation. I found a journal that appealed to me – a small, lined book with yellow paper on the inner covers and a red and green paisley pattern on the cloth exterior – and it would soon become my constant companion. Like thousands before me, the expression that would fill the journal’s pages would be a way to both save my life as a written record of my ideas, and to save my life as if the journal writing were a rope thrown to a frightened child fallen into a dank, dark, well…barely floating, viewing the small sphere of light from above with a sense of hopelessness.


To be continued…


About Marlen Harrison

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison has been teaching language, communication, composition, literature and gender/sexuality studies at universities in Asia, Europe and North America since 1997.
This entry was posted in Marlen's Random Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Why Does Writing Really Matter?

  1. Marlen you created an online mag………that is major!!! Wow………..please remember me when you receive your noble prize!! just say ” I would like to thank Tinashe, Beyonce`s number one fan……for publishing my book”.lol! see what dreaming does!
    Thanks for tutoring us.and c u in class!

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