This big question has been at the forefront of my brain the past week, bouncing around, finding its footing. Finding its grip.
I was nestled in the back corner of one of my many favourite cafes, head phones in and encircled by post-it notes with words and messages when, while tapping away at my laptop I was stopped mid-sentence. I thought: Why do I do this? Why do I write?
The big why.
And you would think the answer would be quite obvious. That it would roll off the tongue without a moment’s hesitation. With full clarity and certainty.
But this wasn’t the case.
I was stumped. Silenced even.
I left the question unanswered. I let it linger, and this is what evolved.
I write because…
* It is integral to my personal happiness and wellbeing
If I don’t write, I don’t feel whole. I feel off-centre and a little wobbly to tell you the truth. When life has gotten too busy, and finding time to write has been a stretch so I’ve ignored the pull, it hasn’t worked in my favour. Lesson here: There is always time to write.
Something sensational happens when ideas and thoughts move from my head and through my body to my fingers, and make their way to the blank canvas before me in the way of words.
Spaciousness is created. Queries and ambiguities become clear(er) when articulated into verses, and everything just makes a little more sense. Who I am, and my place in the world is more evident.
Why do we do many of the things we love? Because frankly, it feels good.
* Creativity is sacred
When I find my groove, each word flows and graciously supports the next word - effortlessly. There is no push. No pressure. Each word has a unique home on the page, and has been chosen because of its exclusive relevance to the message and the quality it expels. The sentences begin to sing. The punctuation emphasizes each. and. every. word.
It is my doorway to the creative realm. Where colours morph and shapes transform. Where smells are portrayed and places are reinvented. Where life is full of possibility.
When this happens, I feel a beat to my walk, and a hop to my skip. This kind of self-expression brings me happiness and reminds me to keep doing what lights me up from the inside out.
There is a yearning; a fire in my belly, and experience has taught me that those feelings cannot be ignored.
* Communication means connection
A peep at my professional background will show you that I have spent many years prioritizing communication. Communication in the form of social inquiry (as a way of understanding us humans and the way societies and cultures function); in the form of journalism (to appreciate and apply the art of the interview, research and objective representation); and in the form of international development (to learn about human rights and social justice, and our entitlement to these joys).
What does this all have to do with why I write?
I write because it makes me feel connected to something bigger. Where communication evades our daily existence. Where the voice is paramount. And where words mean change.
When we communicate with each other, we open up to learning and growing. We realize that this life is about connecting with each other – through our sameness and our difference. Writing makes room for this union.
By writing, I feel a deep drive to propel forward and bring others with me. To have an impact by shifting and re-shaping our stale thoughts and perceptions by dissolving the borders and creating space for community and collaboration.
* Words change the world
I believe this with every bit of little ol’ me. Words mean you have a voice, and by showcasing your voice, you create change.
My writing has recently introduced me to storytelling, and it is here where my insatiable curiosity and interest rests (for the time being anyway). We all love a story. We look for the lessons and the nuggets of gold that we can take away and weave into our own being. They are the tapestry of our lives.
By sharing our stories, we transcend difference and social constructs. We invoke compassion and empathy. We start listening and exchanging. And ultimately, we augment our understanding of the world and desire change. We demand it actually.
Storytelling has a transformative power. It has an ability to affect social and cultural change, and I want to be apart of this.
I have learnt that my love affair with writing can help others. That by using words, I can raise the profile of significant issues and causes, I can lift change makers and their message, and I can platform the voices of the disadvantaged and vulnerable who otherwise would not be heard.
And release…….. Yes. This is why I write. All of THIS.
Considering these reasons, my big, wild dream is:
To write for change.
I am currently working with (and want to expand my client network!) social entrepreneurs, non-government organisations, change-makers, soulful business mavens, learning institutions, creatives and artists, to help them to tell their stories by thoughtfully hand-picking the right words, setting the tone and crafting the message to have impact.
Copy that embodies the values and purpose of the client, and speaks their truth.
Paper Planes Connect is evolving into a social entrepreneurship – a business which pursues innovative solutions to social problems to be exact - and I’m excited to share with you a glimpse of what is to come.
At its heart, Paper Planes Connect is about Creating, Connecting and Cultivating Change.
This will be offered in the form of delicious services, including:
· + Writing and Copy-Writing
· + Consultancy and Coaching
· + Storytelling Collections
· + Research and Analysis
I am currently working on birthing a new website into the world too, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on the blog for more information (and specifically the Work With Me page).
If you are interested in working with me or have any questions, or just want to say hello and connect, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Why do you write? And if writing isn’t your thing, what is your thing and why do you do it? Can’t wait to hear from you J