Why In the World Do You Come to the Page?

While I'm in Florida this week, I'm posting some relevant pieces from the archives. This is the first Write on Wednesday post from June 2008.
Frustration has been the name of the game this week.   Our computers at work are wonky, we have a new staff member in the office meaning there's all kinds of unusual verbal and social interaction, and then one of our senior staff members decided it would be fun for all of us to have instant messenger so we could IM each other within our huge (7 people on a good day) office.  I'm ashamed to say I spent at an hour creating my avatar...you see, I was trying to find this one icon of a fluffy white dog (see what I mean about wasting time?)

So I got home about 6:00, after fighting my way through rush hour traffic, and what's the first thing I feel compelled to do?


Wouldn't you think that after a frustrating day, a day when every accomplishment, every task was completed with much virtual hair pulling and screaming, wouldn't you think that after a day like that I'd crave nothing more than a big glass of wine, a huge box of chocolates, and my easy chair?

Why in the world would I come to the page after a day like that?

"We should write because writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insight and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance," says Julia Cameron, in The Right to Write.  "Writing is good for the soul."

While I don't necessarily think of writing as cathartic, I do believe it helps me make sense of my world and myself.  There are times when a striking truth about my life suddenly appears before me on the screen, complete and utterly honest, coming straight from my spirit through my fingers and onto the page.  For a writer, there is a great connection between the heart, the mind, and the pen.  The act of setting words on the page seems to open a door directly into my writer's soul, letting me in on the secrets that are stored there.

Perhaps that why writing is such a restorative act.  "Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises," Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird.  "The actual act of writing turns out to be the best part.  It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.  The act of writing turns out to be its own reward."

Indeed, there was a sense of relief, of reassurance, to come home, kick off my shoes, and curl up in my easy chair with my virtual pen and paper - my little laptop perched precariously on the chair's overstuffed arm.  I admit, there was wine involved too, but the comfort and relaxation which flooded my body had more to do with the words flowing from my fingertips than from the alcohol flowing past my lips. 

Writing replenishes my spirit, it rejuvenates my mind, it relaxes my emotions.

And that's why I come to the page.

How about you?  What brings you to the page, and why?