Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Member Sharon Rainey on Why Writing Matters

Today's post comes from member Sharon Rainey, founder of My Neighbors Network.

“I understand you like to write. It’s a nice hobby. But what I don’t get is why you have to publish what you write . . .”

His words stung.

No, he didn’t understand at all.

“Oh, I think it might be nice to write an essay today. Let’s see, what shall I write about? Oh, the snow looks pretty today as it falls. Maybe I’ll write about the snow.”

It doesn’t come like that.

He didn’t understand writing is breathing to me. I write to stay alive. I breathe in the experiences of my life like breathing in the oxygen. But then I must exhale to keep my body alive. Writing is my exhaling.

I hear something or see something and it starts an unstoppable chain of events. It may be as simple as a mother asking her temperamental child, “How do you want to say goodbye today?” Or it may be as annoying as being unable to get the sand out of my left sock.

The thoughts start at a low rumble; slowly stirring about in my head, at an almost unconscious level. I feel subliminal movement in my head, still clouded, unsure what it’s about . . . it just churns. The thoughts simmer, slowly taking form. They start to swirl. Sometimes, they organize within, but sometimes, short staccato bursts fire off. Then, my head feels as though it will explode with thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

I have to write. I have to pour the thoughts and feelings outside of my body before they devour me. I publish so I can I give the words to someone else; so I can connect with someone who might have an inkling of what I am thinking, feeling, experiencing.

I publish what I write because I need a voice. I speak for the others who are not yet strong enough. I uncover the secrets that almost consumed me and lay out the truth so that I hold onto my power. My writing ends the isolation for myself and for others so we can come together as a unified force.

Even if that force says only, “Yes, I have felt that too.”


Sharon Rainey recently published her first book, Making a Pearl From the Grit of Life, available on Amazon and at www.sharonrainey.com. She is currently working on her second book, With a Twist of Lyme, detailing her journey through diagnosis and treatment for Lyme disease, due out in September 2011. Her physician is co-authoring the project with her. You may read her blog at www.sharonlivingwithlyme.com. Sharon lives in Great Falls, VA with her husband and teenage son.

1 comment:

ormec686 said...

Beautifully written and I agree completely. I write for the same reason. It's as though my thoughts and words are held hostage and they demand to be freed. You describe what compels the writer beautifully.