Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why I Write . . .


Today is my birthday, and I'm pretty stoked about it. I plan on making the most of the next 24 hours. Partay, people! Three years ago, it looked doubtful that I would have another birthday, but I'm still here. Definite cause for celebration, if you ask me.


Backstory on my near-miss with the grim reaper:

After being sick for several months, I went to the emergency room at a local hospital, and a skilled, Harvard-educated surgeon admitted me. He arranged for a few tests and then, with the help of two other doctors, performed an eight hour surgery which saved my life. At one point, these gifted men held some of my organs in their hands, cleaning them of infection. (Ewww, I know.) My doctor said that he had never performed a more difficult procedure and had no idea why I was still alive.

Thankfully, I woke up from the anesthesia and Nurse Hatchett-- or rather, her meaner, more cantankerous older sister-- made me get out of my bed and walk. And so I did, with great effort. But I wasn't alone, I had my trusty, stylish IV pole with me and at least five or six bags of mysterious fluids. I walked all around the hospital floor like this every few hours, day and night. When it was light outside, I'd watch people through the large windows as they went about their lives and wish I was them. Fervently. I wanted to be anyone else right then.

There was a water-stain on the ceiling tile above me (yes, just like Madeline), and one night, I thought of how nice it would be if I could just climb up into that black space and disappear. The pity party eventually grew old. I grabbed my unwieldy IV-pole dance partner and began my journey around the dimly lit halls. It was here that I learned something. Other patients had it far worse than I did. As I walked by those rooms, I had a brief glimpse into another's suffering, and for a moment, I put myself into their situation.

Of course I wrote before I got sick, but I believe I'm a better writer now. I'd like to think I have more resources to offer the fictitious characters I create. Writing makes use of my experiences-- the good, the bad, and the medical. It helps life make sense somehow.

I write because I have to, because my brain is so filled with ideas and feelings, it won't let me not write. I love the freedom to be and create anything I like. I love to tell a good story, and let's face it, few things compare with sudden inspiration flowing from you to the page. These are some of the reasons I keep trying to learn the craft.

Now, more importantly, what makes you write?

Enjoy this beautiful Spring day, blogging buddies. It's good to be alive.

35 comments:

  1. so glad you're still around. i write to keep myself sane. how's that?

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  2. Happy birthday! So glad you made it through that ordeal.

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  3. Happy, Happy Birthday my dear friend. :) I'm so glad you made it through that scary time. And I love hearing about why you write, I always wonder what it is that makes people write. Because half the time I love writing and the other half I kind of hate it. Well, hate/love it. Know what I mean? I guess I write just because I really like to, it's an escape for me. And I get cranky when I don't. :)

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  4. i COMPLETELY understand this. this is why I write too.. I need to express how I feel in some medium,and without writing my experiences down I feel I haven't lived a day completely. It's my way of soaking in the world. Happy bday to you!

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  5. Happy birthday! What an incredible story!

    I write mostly for this reason you mentioned: my brain is so filled with ideas and feelings, it won't let me not write.

    Seriously, I have trouble sleeping because of it too. :)

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  6. Happy Birthday!!! So glad you're still here to keep on celebrating. :) You pretty much nailed it - I write to get the ideas out of my head, to shut the voices up. Like Kristin said, I can't sleep if I don't.

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  7. Happy Birthday! I can understand how such an experience makes you appreciate each and every one and is encouraging you to make the most of the day. Hope you're having a great time.

    I don't really think about why I write. It's just something I do - like breathing, eating chocolate and making a mess. I wouldn't be me if I didn't do those things.

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  8. Happy Happy Birthday!! Funny how those life changing moments change your life.

    I write because I have to. Otherwise I'd die.

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  9. Oh no, Roxy. I'm very glad you're all right now. Happy Birthday to you. :)

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  10. Well Happy Birthday! Delighted you met such talented medical people just in the nick of time.

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  11. Oh wow! Happy Birthday
    Thanks for sharing your story, it's an inspiring and moving one. :O)

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  12. Happy birthday! May you live a long happy writing life!

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  13. Happy Birthday, Roxy! So glad you are still around to celebrate it. What an intense experience that must have been. I write because I can't imagine life without it. Hope you have a fantastic day.

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  14. Roxy!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Awwwww wow. You amazing woman!!!! Please don't get sick again! :-) Thank you!

    ENJOY YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!!!! Take care
    x

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  15. Roxy--I am a fool when it comes to remembering birthdays. Please have a happy, wonderful day! We are all glad that you made it through the horrible ordeal.

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  16. Happy birthday to your girl. Every year added is a great blessing.....a chance to be even more of who you are.

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  17. Happy Birthday, Roxy. You very accurately expressed why I write. "It's good to be alive."

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  18. Happy Birthday! Yep, every day after something like that happens is a gift and we should make the most of those little presents. Thanks for reminding me. =o)

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  19. Wow, what a nightmare! I bet you ARE a better and more sympathetic writer now.

    I tend to think in imagery. Pictures. Snippets of feelings. To me this needs to come out somehow, and so I write.

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  20. Happy Birthday! You'll be able to use all that experence in your writing some day :)

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  21. Happy late Birthday! This post hit home for me.... I know EXACTLY how you felt. I spent a week in the hospital with a near death MRSA infection experience and then a week after that I had a massive heart attack at 29 yrs old and was in there for 3 weeks. I went through the same feelings your experienced.... it's so surreal isn't it?

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  22. Ahh yes like you I write because it makes me feel connected. And the medical stuff has hit me more than once. I know I've been saved over ten times. Happy birthday to you.

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  23. A very Happy Belated Birthday to you...I'm sure it was a happy one!
    I like the way you put that - that your brain won't let you NOT write. I feel exactly the same.
    Best wishes,
    Catherine

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  24. Wow. I had no idea you'd been through such a thing - so happy your determination got you through it!

    Happy happy birthday. Sorry this is belated!

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  25. Strange coincidence. I just found your blog and it turns out we both wrote "Why I Write" posts on the same day.

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  26. What an inspiring post! You're here for a purpose. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy Birthday!!!

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  27. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!

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  28. Happy Belated Birthday!
    Wow, it's amazing that you pulled through such an intense operation. I believe that going through something like that will change your writing for the better.

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  29. I am so happy you are still in our lives. We love you and are blessed because of you. Happy Belated Birthday. Love you!!

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  30. Happy belated birthday.

    You have always been and always will be an inspiration.

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  31. Thank you, Your writing has helped me,,
    i like this blog,,
    By Diet Solution Program

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  32. My sweet, dear Roxy! I remember when that happened and how we prayed for you. I love you and you are such an inspiration to me. I am so very jealous of your talents - all of them - but especially how fabulous of a writer you are. I am glad you are still her to share that with all of us:)

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  33. Woohoo! Happy b-day!!! I write because I love it. That keeps me going. =D

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  34. Such experiences make us see life in a different way, and can deepen our writing. I once read we need wounds to finger to write powerful stories and poetry. I've found this to be true.

    I hope you had a happy birthday!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

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