When I’m writing or thinking as a writer, I feel most connected to myself. After so many years, it’s become my anchor and my island. It’s also my job. I have stories that I’ve simply got to tell or bust. I also have a need to testify to a particular cultural experience. When I was ten-years-old, I wanted to be a song writer and I’ve always loved to sing. I think really good writing has musicality and quite often beauty. I want to be a part of that and to create it for others.
Writing can also lead to unexpected encounters with one’s self. I like the unexpected even though it can be scary. A thought or feeling that takes me by surprise can bring me closer to the truth. It’s especially exciting when a character behaves in a way I hadn’t planned on.
I’ve read hundreds of good books and I’m grateful to the people who wrote them–for helping me to think and feel more deeply, for teaching me something new or taking me to some place I’ve never been; for making me laugh and giving me permission to cry; for letting me know on days when I’m lonely that I’m really not alone. That’s the kind of writer I want to be.