Why I Write

Words often fail me. I don’t mean the words themselves. Spoken words and written words–like anything else–are only as good as the person using them. I mean that I often struggle to say what I mean, especially when I feel strongly about it. When I speak, or hold a conversation of importance, then I often lie in my bed for minutes, maybe hours, afterward and contemplate everything I said wrong, didn’t say, and if I’m extremely lucky, the things I said right. This isn’t special to me; this is something we all do as human beings, I think. But it always feels like I put so much more weight on what I say than other people (even if it isn’t true).

I don’t hold close to my chest the fact that I have some anxiety issues, issues that I often times hide behind a long bathroom break, all the while blaming Safeway Supermarket’s deli Chinese food. (Darn… My secret is out.) If you have anxiety, then you’ve probably been there, too. Words give me anxiety. A single conversation can turn the butterflies in my stomach into a nest of angry hornets. Hornets, like words, can sting.

I’ve said a lot of words just now, and this month (I even posted a poem on my blog called Words, so that’s how deep I am in these thoughts), and this year. Wow…that’s a lot of words, but words are also why I write.

I write because it’s my therapy. Writing is my exit strategy, my entry point, and the hallway that connects the two. Writing is the sedative that calms the hornets and the latch that frees the butterflies. Writing is a collection of words, my collection, in the exact order that I want them, said as I want them said, and thought out to my heart’s, or my head’s, content.

I write fiction because for the time that I’m there, sat at the keyboard or sunk into the couch with my iPad gripped in my white-knuckled hands, I’m not me. I have a plethora of problems, or my character does, and they’re distant. I’m in control of the story, the outcome, the conversation, the entry point and exit strategy. I’m in control of the words.

And words are powerful.

I write because writing is important. I write because I pray that someone, even a single person, might read what I’ve written, the words I’ve crafted and connected, and those words might be the sedative that calms their hornets or the latch that frees their butterflies.

Words often fail me, so I write.



Congratulations to L. Matsuzaki (who has a blog of her own called Roo Reads) and T. Judah for winning the Mordecai – Episode One: Bloodthirsty Giveaway at the NW Portland Bookfest, and to K. Linebarger for winning the social media giveaway!

If you’d like to get your own copy of Mordecai E1: Bloodthirsty, click here to check it out.


This week’s writing prompt:

Write some words, any words! Play with them, and use them how you want. Tell a story.

You can submit your results to me at benjaminlawbooks@gmail.com for a chance to have them featured here on my blog!


Don’t forget to share and subscribe! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.

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