Why Does Writing Matter?

I’ve just finished reading Anne Lamott’s book Bird By Bird.

Anne is a published author who also teaches others how to write. Bird By Bird is a distillation of what she has learned about writing and ‘being a writer’ throughout her life.  It’s a witty, warm and practical read for anyone who writes – or who wants to write.

The last segment of the book resonated so strongly for me, that I decided to share it here.

When Anne’s students ask “So why does our writing matter, again?”, this is her answer:

boat_in_stormBecause of the spirit … Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on the ship.

For me her words were an affirmation and a confirmation.

So I’ll keep writing, keep reading – and have my shot at dancing with the absurdity of life.

Who wants to sail and sing with me? :)


  1. Sue,
    I’m sailing and dancing and singing with you!

Leave a Reply to Jim Evers Cancel reply