4 P.M. Play Gin Rummy

I wish I could help you. I wish I had all of the answers. Why do writers write?
I write because my brain hurts if I don’t. I write because I want to inspire.
I write because I want to help. I write because I want to entertain you.
I write because when I was a young girl and I began writing poetry,  essays, and funny little ditties my mother told me, “you are such a good writer, Cookie, please keep writing.”

In Stephen King’s “On Writing,” he gives his top thirteen writing tips. One tip is to write every day.  I subscribe to the notion that like teaching a child to read anything daily, writing needs the same devotion even if it is just a list. A list I can expand and develop into a story or essay.  He has twelve other tips, but I don’t much follow them because I am not a good student.  Well, I really am a good student, but writing is an outlet for me and I don’t much like to follow the rules when I am writing.  I just used “much” as a modifier, so you get my point.

My mother and my grandmother wrote poetry, songs, essays,
and letters. Come to think of it most everyone on both sides of my family is
creative with storytelling or writing. Even the most reserved like my father
can put pen to paper and write an interesting piece.  I recently realized this about my dad when I read an essay he wrote about his childhood.  It was laugh out loud funny.  My dad is not a gregarious guy.  He is a numbers guy with that quiet dry humor.  When I read what he wrote, I realized he had a way of expressing himself on paper that I did not know he possessed.  Before Google he would call me long distance to get my opinion of how a sentence sounded.  He would even seek spelling advice if he didn’t have a dictionary handy.  I wonder if anyone ever encouraged him to write?  If not, I think I will be the one to encourage him.

I write every day. Sometimes it’s just a list, but my lists are detailed and colorful.  They are very telling.  You can get a snapshot of what kind of a day I am having by the tone and handwriting of my list.  Clear legible writing means I am having an even keel day. Maniacal writing that looks like three different people wrote it means I am all over the place. Yes, if you know me you think that most of my lists are like this. Could be. One thing about my lists, they are always thorough and my time is very well-managed. There is always a method to my madness.

When my son was in elementary school he saw one of my daily list which detailed- 2:45 pm pick Ben up from school.  3:00 pm pick Camille up from school. He looked at me and incredulously asked, “You have to PUT US ON YOUR list?!!” My response, “I have never forgotten one of you, have I?”

Yes, writers write for many reasons. Today I am writing because writing each day is on my list of things to do and because my mother told me I should.

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