I purchased Writing Down the Bones a few weeks ago and finally got around to opening it this weekend. It’d been on my list of books to read after Gretchen Rubin recommended it in The Happiness Project. I’ve only read the preface, and I can’t move on from this quote:
I don’t think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories – of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.
I absolutely love it and think it’s spot on. I often wonder why I write. Will people want to read it? Is it interesting content? Am I just wasting my time? Why do I even have a blog?
In reality, though, writing helps me understand the world. One of my favorite quotes has always been “I never know how I feel about something until I write about it.” Writing helps me focus my mind on a specific topic or question, which is rare for me. It’s the one area in my life where I can get my mind to not jump from one thought to another to the next in a matter of seconds. Through writing I can explore how I really feel about something, and it forces me to put into words what’s going on in my head.
That’s why I write. I may not ever publish or have more than a handful of readers, but that’s not the point. I write for me, and if a few other people happen to find some enjoyment in it as well, then that’s just an added bonus.