Write on Wednesday-Why In the World Do You Come to the Page?

Frustration has been the name of the game this week.   Our computers at work are wonky, we have a new staff member in the office meaning there’s all kinds of unusual verbal and social interaction, and then one of our senior staff members decided it would be fun for all of us to have instant messenger so we could IM each other within our huge (7 peeople on a good day) office.  I’m ashamed to say I spent at an hour creating my avatar…you see, I was trying to find this one icon of a fluffy white dog (see what I mean about wasting time?)

So I got home about 6:00, after fighting my way through rush hour traffic, and what’s the first thing I feel compelled to do?


Wouldn’t you think that after a frustrating day, a day when every accomplishment, every task was completed with much virtual hair pulling and screaming, wouldn’t you think that after a day like that I’d crave nothing more than a big glass of wine, a huge box of chocolates, and my easy chair?

Why in the world would I come to the page after a day like that?

“We should write because writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insight and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance,” says Julia Cameron, in The Right to Write.  “Writing is good for the soul.”

While I don’t necessarily think of writing as cathartic, I do believe it helps me make sense of my world and myself.  There are times when a striking truth about my life suddenly appears before me on the screen, complete and utterly honest, coming straight from my spirit through my fingers and onto the page.  For a writer, there is a great connection between the heart, the mind, and the pen.  The act of setting words on the page seems to open a door directly into my writer’s soul, letting me in on the secrets that are stored there.

Perhaps that why writing is such a restorative act.  “Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises,” Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird.  “The actual act of writing turns out to be the best part.  It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.  The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.”

Indeed, there was a sense of relief, of reassurance, to come home, kick off my shoes, and curl up in my easy chair with my virtual pen and paper – my little laptop perched precariously on the chair’s overstuffed arm.  I admit, there was wine involved too, but the comfort and relaxation which flooded my body had more to do with the words flowing from my fingertips than from the alcohol flowing past my lips. 

Writing replenishes my spirit, it rejuvenates my mind, it relaxes my emotions.

And that’s why I come to the page.

How about you?  What brings you to the page, and why?

Write on Wednesday  is back!  This column once appeared regularly here at the Byline as a weekly look at the craft of writing in general and my own in particular.  Write on Wednesday  will appear each week throughout the summer, and this time you’re invited to participate by creating your own blog post using the topic of the week’s post as your prompt.  
You know the drill…leave a comment here with a link to your post.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


17 thoughts on “Write on Wednesday-Why In the World Do You Come to the Page?

  1. This from a post during the first month of Spatter:

    My childishness today is not chasing the wind, or gazing at the sky, or even being playful with friends. As the month draws to a close, it is the part of childhood when first steps are taken or first voice is found that I’m relating to.

    This month, I found the motivation to start this blog and, as it happened, I also became more involved with my photography. Like for the toddler, it’s been a portal crossed.

    Both the writing and the photography are providing outlets for expressing and nourishing my creative spirit. The resulting personal benefits can’t be overstated.

  2. Great question. Given how hard writing can be, how much time it consumes, and how unremunerative it is likely to be (given my insistence on writing totally unmarketable stuff), I often wonder if there isn’t something better for me to spend my time doing. I keep trying to quit. Really, I do.

    But then, I read an interesting post, come across and interesting idea, feel a twinge of yearning and desire, and off I go again. It would be nice to think I wrote to satisfy a creative quest or find spiritual restoration, but I fear my reasons are more based on pathology or obsession than anything quite so transcendental.

    What a great feature you’ve started! I’m looking forward to reading more.

  3. Like you, “it helps me make sense of my world and myself.” While thoughts can zoom through my mind at breakneck speed, sometimes they just seem to swirl into a vortex; writing helps me to sort those thoughts out and restore (some) order to my mind.

    I’m sure things will settle down again soon at your work place and all of you will be back to the usual routine.

  4. Hi Becca… (Practically an entire box of comment was just wiped out for no reason I can see! Oh well, will try to reconstruct) Thanks for the invitation to participate. I’ve attempted an answer to the question, but I’ve realised that the school-year has taken its toll on my brain, as my answer is far less coherent or elegant than the post I wrote on the topic in September for Sunday Scribbling – before the school year got started! I’m ready for my holidays, which start in a week!

    You’ve captured in your post much of what I’d like to have said about why I write, and especially this part: “While I don’t necessarily think of writing as cathartic, I do believe it helps me make sense of my world and myself. There are times when a striking truth about my life suddenly appears before me on the screen, complete and utterly honest, coming straight from my spirit through my fingers and onto the page. ” That’s my experience too, but you’ve said it perfectly!

    I probably won’t be here to participate every week, but thanks so much for starting up something that will provide food for writing in the summer weeks that I am about and able to access internet!

  5. Hi Becca, I found you from Imeda’s page.
    I write because in my head things are so scrambled sometimes I can’t think of one thing at a time. On the page I can organize my thougts, I can see for myself if my thoughts really make any since at all or if my mind really is just a jumbled up mess. I can usually express myself more clearly without having to studder something and be misunderstood. And finally I write because I have so much to say from my soul that spoken words can’t begin to have the meaning I need them to have, if they are on paper, they stay there forever. And maybe, just maybe somebody else will read them and feel a connection. Thanks for asking the question and the invitation to take part.

  6. Pingback: Why In the World Do I Come to the Page?

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