Friday Speak Out!: Delirium

Friday, June 01, 2018
by Amie McGraham

You write to clear the chaos in your head. You write to clear space for more words. You write to silence the voices. You write because you can’t imagine life without writing. You write because you can’t imagine life as a writer. You write because the writer in you is straining at the leash, ready to break free. You write to find freedom. You write because at eight years old, you told everyone you were going to be a writer. You write to make sense of the world far away and within you. You write because you don’t think you’re good enough. And then you write because you are enough.

You write to give meaning to a life beyond sales calls and quotas. You write to quash the self-doubt. You write because you can’t stop thinking about writing. You write to unload all the thoughts you had on a long run with your hyperactive dog. You write 140-word blog posts to remember who your mother was before she forgot who you were. You write short stories because you’re pressed for time. You write to make sense of the tangled web of your mother’s dementia. You write a novel because fiction creates a world of escape.

You write because you’re an addict and the page is now your bottle. You write when the muse hijacks your brain and your fingers move frantically across the keyboard like a Ouija board gone haywire.

You write because you dream about writing and sometimes the story awakens you.

You write because your grandparents wrote and your parents wrote. You write because it scares you and everyone says you should do one thing a day that scares you. You write because your fingers itch, and because your brain hurts from all the trapped words that bang around in your head.

You write because they say you have a way with words. A hidden talent. A gift. You write to believe this, to make it true.

You write when you’re happy. You write when you’re pissed off. You write when your life sucks and your dog dies. You write through tears. You write when you can’t wait to write, and you write when you don’t want to. You write in notebooks with different colored ink marking your mood, after a shot of nicotine courage in the pre-dawn darkness. You write on your laptop. You write on your phone. You write on the backs of grocery receipts while you’re driving.

You write after you’ve run an ultramarathon because your mind must be emptied after thirty-one miles through the desert. You write every day now that you’re sober, because when you drank you wrote shit, if even at all.

You write to find yourself. You write to help others. You write to help yourself. You write to give purpose to your passion. You write because that is what a writer does.

* * *
Amie McGraham grew up on an island off the coast of Maine and is a writer, family caregiver and occasional petsitter. Her fiction has been short-listed for the Fulton Prize and the New Guard Review and she was a semi-finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards.

She received her BA in English from Arizona State University and is currently writing a trilogy book series. Her articles have appeared in Motherwell Magazine, Writer Advice, The Caregiver Space, Best Friends Animal Society and elsewhere. Her flash blog, “This Demented Life,” is frequently featured in AlzAuthors and read in more than a dozen countries.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Amie--I certainly agree. We write for a variety of reasons and most of us write for varied reasons at varied times. Fir me, writing has been healing, it's been validating and it's been rejuvenating.

Good luck on your current WIP.

Angela Mackintosh said...

So true, Amie! I write to make sense of my life and experiences, and hopefully, to help others feel like they are not alone. I write purposefully to change people's minds and broaden perspectives. I write for myself. I write when my writing sucks but write anyway to feel like I've accomplished something. I write because it's a high like nothing else.

Congratulations on running an ultra-marathon! That's incredible. And on the sobriety, too. I'm at nine months right now.

Good luck on your trilogy!

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