Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why Do I Write?, By Yolanda Adele

I’m the historian of my life. Writing is the vehicle I take to journey within myself. When I write in the quiet of the night it is as though I’m having a conversation with my soul. That is when my writing flows. I don’t worry about grammar or syntax when I’m in this level of self-discovery.

I think it was Thornton Wilder (Our Town) who said, “In writing, working is in clay not marble.” This may be why I have learned to make peace with my past and to embrace who I’m today. I continually uncover jewels of special moments that enrich my life and give it meaning.

Bonnie Mansel, our writing coach, once asked our class to write our own epitaph as a writing exercise. This writing assignment left me with a liberating feeling of empowerment, knowing that I had the last words about my essence and what was important to me. It reminded me of a curious fact about our 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson: He wrote his own epitaph and chose not to mention that he had been president of the Untied States. It did not matter to him what others might have wanted said about him. It was his life, his death, and he had it his way.

One day my granddaughter, Jaime, asked a question that I had never asked of myself, “Nana why do you write?” To my surprise I answered without hesitation, “So someday you may know me better.” There it was, in a heartbeat, the answer was as clear as the sky above us. My writing is my legacy to my precious grandchildren: Jaime, Brandon, Moises, Hannah, Caleb, and Sarah.


  1. I understand and agree. These precious little ones tend to miss out on some very important pieces of our lives. It is really nice to have your thoughts in writting , so that when they want to fill in some of the missing pieces, they will have your words.

  2. I agree. Every time my grandson or my children make comments about how well I write. I puff up with a good kind of pride. The kind that says; I'm important to them and that's all that matters. Write on Yolanda

  3. Brilliant Yolanda. Only you could write such phrases "When I write I'm having a conversation with my soul" or "I continually uncover jewels of special moments that enrich my life and give it meaning."
    You have a beautiful mind and your grandchildren have a lot to live up to.

  4. Yolanda, I really like your words, "having a conversation with my soul" and in the quiet of the night when we can hear the musings of the mind we find the precious jewels you speak of. Reminds me so of the "car thoughts" I once penned during the night. Writing tells us more about ourselves than others will ever learn of us, and having the last say is another reward of leaving our stories for others. We get to tell the story from our perspective, from our emotions and from our experiences.