The U.S. Senate has proclaimed today the third annual National Day on Writing, an event originally created by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to promote the importance of writing -- not just to those of us who make our living by writing, but to all of us in our everyday lives.
This year, the National Writing Project has joined in the celebration, along with numerous other educational blogs and news outlets, asking people to share the reasons why they write. You can follow along the #whyiwrite hashtag on Twitter, and you're encouraged to contribute your own essays, tweets, and blog posts.
Here's Audrey's contribution:
As someone who writes daily -- and writes a lot -- I'm often asked about the "how" not the "why" of my work. Namely, "How do you write so much?" The question makes me chuckle because I distinctly remember being a PhD student working on a dissertation and having these overwhelming, fearful feelings: How will I ever write enough? Are my ideas any good? What if I fail? What if I have nothing important to say?
I think there's something about staring at the blank word processing screen that elicits these feelings in almost all writers. Unlike standing in front of a class full of students or a room full of co-workers -- who nod (and true, nod off) and smile (or sleep) and ask questions (or stare silently) -- the blank page can be strangely more intimidating. There isn't the immediacy or the feedback when you write like there is when you speak.