By Fritzy Dean
Every Tuesday I get up and hurriedly get dressed and go to my writing class. No body makes me go. No body cares if I go. Still. I go. Winter and summer, spring and Fall I go every Tuesday to writing class.
On a Tuesday when I must miss class, the whole day feels “off kilter.” in fact, it affects the whole week. It has become integral to my life, to my routine.
Why do it? Well, I really like my class members and I really respect our instructor. He spends a good deal of energy prepping for this class. He gives of his time. He also gives us funny prompts and unusual subject matter. He makes me think and I like that. Well, mostly I like it.
There are several poets in our class and while they are not able to be there every time, when they are there I never fail to be amazed by the words that show up on their papers.
Sometimes I am even amazed at what shows up on my paper. I never thought I had what it takes to pull characters out of the air and transfer them to the page. This class has shown me I can. Not always prize-winning prose, but still I’m doing it and I like the challenge. Well, mostly I like it.
After our first writing exercise, we discuss the work. We tell the class member what we liked about the piece. Sometimes we offer gentle suggestions for how the piece could be better.
I do like that. I want to be a GOOD writer - not an okay writer, not a passable writer. I want to be Good. It is the single thing I strive for in my life. Don’t care about finding a husband, have no interest in traveling the world, will never appear on a best dressed list and don’t want to.
Have no interest in a new car or meeting a celebrity. BUT, I desperately want to be good at writing.
Why? Why this and not yoga? Or cooking classes? Or flower arranging? Why do I write?
Because I have to; something inside me compels it. Because I gain clarity; I learn how I really feel about things when I get the words down. Because I don’t want to forget. I think every life matters and I want mine to be documented.
Because writing changes my perspective. My childhood looks very different through the lens of a narrator than through he lens of a victim.
I write because I have something to say. I want others to hear it. I want someone to benefit by my experiences. I have learned much in my decades here on planet Earth and I want to leave a record. I was here and this is what happened to me.
I write because I must.
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