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a:Friday Speak Out!: Why I Write


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by Anne Marie Scala

I write because I can’t not write.

Anyone who gets as wildly excited as I do when Staples has notebooks on sale for $.25 has to write. Finding my favorite pens makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

Writing is part of who I am.

Almost a decade ago, I attempted to turn my writing hobby into a profession. Despite initially having success, I couldn't find a rhythm to sustain it for long. A year of overwhelm and exhaustion followed and I concluded my energy would be better spent elsewhere.

Recent events propelled me to revisit my dream of being a writer. Hoping to avoid my previous missteps, I signed up for a course offered by an experienced writing coach.

Before diving in, she encouraged me to explore these inquiries:

Why does writing matter to me?

Why do I feel compelled to write?

Writing matters to me because it is the primary way I care for myself. When I can’t find my footing, it grounds me. When I’m stuck, it sets me free. Without a writing practice, I'm lost. Wherever I am in the world, it brings me home.

Writing expands my self-awareness. Scribbling sentences sets a stage for emotions to safely speak. Journaling reveals invaluable insights and riveting revelations, celebrates joy and love, and sheds light on negative patterns and choices that may change them. These discoveries allow me to show up in the world as a better version of myself.

My coach invited me to dive deeper: Why do I want to share my writing? Particularly when the process of getting published can be excruciating.

I want to share because I believe in the power of words and their unmatched ability to uplift, encourage and empower.

I want to share to honor all the writers whose stories changed my life. Growing up, I felt different from those around me. It was words written by people I never met that made me feel seen and understood. Had these courageous authors chosen not to share, I don’t know where I would be right now.

I want to share because I am raising artists. I want to set a good example by experiencing all the emotions that accompany an artist’s journey. The exhilaration of accomplishment; the agony of unmet expectations and everything in between.

This inquisitive writing exercise has proved invaluable. My responses anchor me. ‘My whys’ tether me to my truth and hold me steady so I can stay the course as I navigate life as a writer.

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Anne Marie Scala is a freelance writer who has been published in the Elephant Journal, Scary Mommy and Her View From Home. She’s also an educator and community volunteer who appreciates a good book, a good run, and a good football game. Anne Marie lives in New Jersey with her husband and two teenage daughters. You can follow her on Instagram @ anne_marie_scala
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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
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