Why we write

In Yachats, Beachside Writer Michelle Koehn of Eugene works on a short writing assignment.

AS I PREPARE for the Feb. 25-27 Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats, the question comes up as it certainly will that weekend.

Why write?

Why bother to risk putting something down on paper when it might just blow away in the wind? Or get kicked back at you by someone’s criticism? Or require you to make sacrifices in the process of creating your story — with no guaranty that it’ll mean anything to anybody other than you?

Sure, writing allows a creative outlet. Allows you to vent. Allows you to offer your perspective on the world.

But more than anything, here’s why we write: because, as with other gifts we have to give — be they cooking, painting or making really good snow angels with your children — it allows us to leave the world differently than we found it.

To make a difference.

To make someone laugh. Ponder. Think. Wonder. Perhaps even get angry.

I was thinking about this after reading a story called “Dogzilla” to a bunch of first-graders at Prairie Mountain School in Eugene. You show up, they hand you a book and you read. Often, I confess, I’m initially preoccupied, thinking about some deadline at work I have later that day.

But as I read “Dogzilla,” the kids’ 8:30 a.m. blank faces suddenly turned into smiles. And laughter. And eye-rolling disbelief.

And I was reminded of the power of words. Simple words.

All because of Dav Pilkey’s story about a dog who rises from a volcano to break up the first annual Mousopolis Barbecue Cook-Off, and scatter the Big Cheese’s troops with her fearsome doggy breath.

Too often we think the only writing that “counts” is the New York Times best-seller stuff geared toward the cultural sophisticates.

Not true. There is no Writing God who deems these words worthy and those words not.
It is all in the eyes of the beholders, the readers, the folks who will open some musty family journal 50 years after you, the writer, have died. The letter-to-the-editor reader who looks at some issue a bit more open-minded because of your words. The cynic who can’t help but feel even a touch hopeful because of your silver-lining sentences.

That’s why we write. For the same reason why the ex-prisoner Brooks (James Whitmore), before taking his own life, takes out a knife and etches “Brooks was here” into a beam. To remind people that we somehow matter.

That’s not ego. That’s simply wanting to think the world is different because we are around.

Whether it’s three words scratched into a piece of wood or a 90,000-word novel, that’s why we write. To say something to the world. And, if we’re fortunate, to leave that world better than we found it.

At Beachside Writers, our goal is simple: to help you write better. To affirm you as a writer. And to help you tell that story inside of you that’s crying to be told.

OK, we also want to stuff you with you all sorts of great food, remember what a campfire s’more tastes like, meet new people, forget, if even for a weekend, whatever job you do, smell the inspiring salt air, watch breakers, listen to Drift Inn guitarist/singer Richard Sharpless play at our Saturday lunch, laugh about whoever can come up with the wildest metaphors, snuggle into a new Beachside sweatshirt, be inspired, learn new writing techniques, chat with my 83-year-old mom about her plans to be part of on an all-women sailboat crew in the Virgin Islands this spring, understand the challenges of being published and stretch yourself as a writer.

But mainly, we want to remind you that you — and your words — matter.

Beachside Writers Feb. 25-27 info.

39 Responses

  1. Judy Wenger

    I will bookmark that short piece and of course the photo of my beautiful friend who did not want to attend this year’s Beachside Workshop, thus causing me to not go, which I am NOT happy about!
    Inspiration and encouragement are lacking in my life with regards to writing. So many other things keep me from writing. I will read what you wrote over and over and perhaps one day soon I will find my muse. Thanks, Bob. I know the folks at Beachside will be blessed and encouraged. Have fun. I know I would have.

  2. utica attorneys

    Tons of solid, tough to acquire information here. Discovered this blog article by performing a search on Mahalo. You’re really getting me reevaluate my feeling about this material and rarely does that happen to me… LOL. Thanks!

  3. Yagnaroopaya

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But think of if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could certainly be one of the best in its niche. Terrific blog!

  4. Wilmer Doogan

    How did you get for being this outstanding? Its incredible to determine an individual put considerably passion into a subject. Im happy I stumbled on this. Im glad I took the time for you to find out on previous the very paragraph. Youve attained so much to say, a lot to provide. I hope of us realise this and appear into your net page.

  5. hcg

    I can see what you mean. Great ideas and they’ve definitely opened my own eyes to the opportunity of what you’re saying. You certainly have got a large amount of feedback on this article!

  6. Yacht Charter Holiday

    I really enjoyed this post. I really love your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! I am planning a surprise Yacht party for my girlfriend and need some good ideas.Thanks!

  7. Luxury Yacht Vacation

    I really liked this post. I really love your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! I am planning a surprise Yacht party for my girlfriend and need some good ideas.Thanks!

  8. Glennis Pflugrad

    Is it cool if I ask something sorta off base? I’m trying to read this web page on my new iPad but it does not load right, do you know of any remedies for this? Should I try to update my browser or is it something with your site? Thanks in advance for any suggestions! 🙂

  9. Writers Wanted

    I really like your transitions and quality. I have been producing for Ghost Writers for a while now, and they pay me very well to write blog posts like this, or articles. I clear $100-$200 on a poor morning.
    Judging by your ability with written words, you may enjoy doing the same.
    It wouldnt hurt to check them out.Here are the details

  10. Tam Tabler

    I was wondering what is up with that weird gravatar??? I know 5am is early and I’m not looking my best at that hour, but I hope I don’t look like this! I might however make that face if I’m asked to do 100 pushups. lol

  11. John Smith

    Hi! Congrats. That was a interesting bit of news. I am ready to hear more about this particular line of information. Will be in touch. Greetings from Germany.

  12. Noble Inclan

    Very good written article. It will be valuable to anybody who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep up the good work – for sure i will check out more posts.

  13. tour travel agency

    Carry bare essentials only since you will be shopping. Try mailing stuff back to your home by the cheapest possible route- i.e by sea. When packing use the 50% rule i.e. afer packing , try removing half. Happy travelling.

  14. 偷情

    I appreciate seeing webs that comprehend the worth of giving a prime useful resource,his help to make this website worth coming back to for even more info;

  15. Gregory Despain

    The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  16. sexcam

    Wow I’ve got read your blog buying takeaways I found you website on many directories and i believe while i read hundred post with you website especially this place We’ve my opinion of what can i investigate your next spend time with my boy friend, maybe today I will tell my friendsabout brussels and have debate.

  17. basic physical therapy download e-book

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  18. nucash

    Hello, I seriously appreciated the study about what you posted, but I’ve something to say about your blog site. That is a blogengine weblog ideal? Is it potential that it could nog effort quite great in net explorer 9 beta?

  19. Zita Rossetto

    I am impressed with your presented ideas! You definitely get an excellent mind. 🙂 Though, I don’t know exactly what words to use to thank you however I must say I learned a lot. Keep going!

  20. UGG Lo Pro Button

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

Leave a Reply to Pay Monthly Phones Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *