Why Catherine Woodward Scott Writes
I write because it helps me identify the deep questions of life. And my life. Those can be very different.
I write because Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Joanne Greenberg, John Steinbeck, Annie Dillard, and Mary Oliver among hundreds of fine poets and authors inspire and delight me. They’ve set a high bar that is compelling, daring me to have a go at it. They hold a lamp in my darkness, they demoralize me utterly when my critic screams out “Unworthy! How dare you.”
Writing is soul work. Maybe you can relate to “the itches you can’t scratch,” the something that tugs at the heartstrings, so deep and compelling. One needs to go in after it. Tame the damn beast. But the whole time I’m searching for That Thing, the ego is having a field day, telling me how hopeless this is, what a loser I am.
Writing teaches me my mind’s wiles and forces me to continue like Sisyphus, to not quit on this piece nor on myself, no matter what.
I don’t feel whole if I’m not writing. What does that say about the gifts we came in with? They dog us. Music for a musician, painting or sculpting, whatever we must do because it’s who we are. Not an option. Get a day job to support your habit. But keep writing, or sculpting, or dancing, because you don’t truly have a choice.
That’s the gift writing has shown me. It gives me meaning. There’s incredible sweetness in the sharing of it with readers or with my beloved writers group, like sitting before a fantastic French meal, anticipation tingling the tip of the tongue. “I’m goin’ in,” it says. “I have to.”
Come what may.
About Catherine Woodward Scott
Contemplating in these Colorado foothills,
writing and all the new insights it provides
fun and food and friends and family.
A poem or two, a fine read.
Giving and receiving.
I’m a simple old soul.