Why I Write

So. Many. Books. 50,000 according to the bookseller. He was sitting at his desk in front of a monitor and looked at me briefly over his glasses with that, “seriously?” look in his soft hazel eyes when I asked how many were in their collection. He had no idea, but he patiently checked for the crazy writer-lady. I silently calculated that if each book had an average of 200 pages (which each wouldn’t but it’s my game, so I could imagine anything I wanted) that would be 10,000,000 pages and if each page had 200 words, that’s 2,000,000,000 words.

That’s a lot of words.

Almost immediately, I felt like I was in the center of this swirling vortex and I wondered what I was even thinking, Me? a writer? of books? I mean, the books in this store were only a minute fraction of what is out there in the world. Why did I even imagine that I could make a difference by writing and publishing the projects I had already finished or was working on? What difference could they possibly make in this very complex world where it seems everyone has shared their opposing opinions and ideas in a book?

I wandered through the various sections of the bookstore, and a few titles caught my eye: Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Henepola Gunartana, On Writing, by Stephen King, and Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett. Very different books, but important ones to me that played critical roles in helping to unify my life. I started to think about other books that influenced me and realized the 4 bookcases and 15 boxes of books at home held a myriad of examples. Memoir, political discourse, humor, self-help, nature, and a great variety of other stories written by people of all kinds from all around the world. Their influence is what has shaped my life.

It doesn’t matter that there are 130 million published books in the world and that mine may only be read by a handful. What matters is that I have the opportunity to share my story and that the one or two people that need to hear it do.

That’s why I write.

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