Why do I write?

I don’t remember exactly when I started writing. I only know that I cannot remember not needing to write. Maybe it was because I was a shy kid who felt like she didn’t belong anywhere exactly. Books and reading were a great escape. My mother’s aunt nurtured that connection to books and I loved getting swept away in an epic story. Then one day she bought me a package of stationary and a beautiful pen. “Write,” she said. So I began, clumsily at first, filling the pages with bad poetry about adolescent angst. What was amazing about the experience was that once I began, I couldn’t stop. If reading was a source of comfort and happiness, then writing—putting my own words on the page—felt like mainlining a drug.images-1

The outside world had given me plenty of reasons to doubt myself. I struggled with a fledgling awareness of my differentness, but honestly having no idea what that meant exactly. I only knew I liked girls. Although words had become my comfortable companions, I had no word for who I was. All the labels seemed negative and dirty: Lesbian, homosexual, or the worst: dyke. Gay seemed to be the best word, but at the time, I only saw the association with flamboyant men, and that wasn’t me, either. I didn’t know anyone else like me, so, I returned to my books and journals. I wrote about my feelings, my hopes, my dreams, my secret crush on the captain of the cheerleading squad.

imagesI joined the army about a year and a half out of high school, and oh my god! I truly found myself. I loved everything about the military. I got to dress in camouflage, wear boots, crawl around in the dirt, shoot guns (a first for me), and I was in my element. A friend of mine gave me a book with explicit instructions to hide it. I stayed up all night reading Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, and I tell you that book totally changed my life. I realized that I was lesbian/gay/dyke, and there were other people just like me! Except for that one tiny detail…yeah, being lesbian was frowned upon. Now, I knew I couldn’t write—not about this wondrous discovery. Here I was, at this pinnacle moment of young awareness, with so very much to say, and at the same time terrified, knowing if my journals were discovered I’d be thrown out of the army that I loved. So, I didn’t write for years. I kept reading, though, still captivated, getting lost in stories, and learning little bits about myself along the way.

True passion can never be stifled indefinitely. My writing returned with a new vengeance, as if the years spent bottled up, building pressure, exploded like a shaken 2-liter bottle of your favorite soft drink. I had to get my thoughts on the page. Once again, I filled notebooks, with random ideas, poems, phrases and lines, connected only in the sense that they’d originated in my heart. Nothing was off limits. Sometimes the process was scary, other times blissful, but always necessary. Eventually those scattered thoughts coalesced around a character deeply rooted in my own experiences and I realized it contained such a universal message that it was a story I had to tell. I think that’s the lesson.SliderJourney

I have to write. It’s my way of connecting to my fellow souls, wandering around this insane world, trying to find our place. I have to write stories about what’s important to me. My characters live the drama that helps me, and hopefully my readers, take another small step towards figuring it all out on our journey to personal fulfillment. I’m a woman in a man’s world, a lesbian in an overwhelmingly heterosexual world, a struggling novelist with a story to tell, but above all, I’m just an individual longing to be accepted for myself. My books and blogs will always tell our unique and yet completely normal story of the human condition. I hope you’ll join me on my journey.

Thanks for reading~LM

 

 

 

45 comments

    • Aww, Jody, thanks for that. I think we’re all in this big ‘ol world together, just trying to make our way. As writers, nothing beats knowing our words resonate with others, right? Your words have lifted my spirit on many occasions. Thank you.

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  1. Beautiful blog, Lynette. Your journey is one to be noted and appreciated. So glad you have this passion to write. We readers are very grateful.

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  2. Hey great blog! I’ve yet to read one of your books but will search for one soon because your blog held such an intense message, I know I’ll enjoy your novels. Your pictures are fantastic! The soldier with the rainbow flag behind it is truly powerful and I feel honored to just have seen it 🙂 Thanks for sharing it and a bit of your life story…

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  3. Great blog. I had a similar childhood, devouring books (though reading only) and I had the exact same experience with Rubyfruit Jungle, given to me by the woman who also did me the great favor of bringing me out when I didn’t have much of a clue! Still have the original book. Keep writing!

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    • Kathy, that’s what I mean about having such common experiences. I came to realize that my experiences could resonate with our community and that connection was so important in sharing our stories. It’s cool to know we were touched by the same author. 🙂

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  4. Lynette I always enjoy your writing and I’m delighted our journey’s have crossed more than once !
    And my hope is that they continue to intertwine for many many years to come ; )
    Take care of you, dear .

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    • Jaynes, your unselfish gift of time at Lesficreader have given all of us a safe and genuinely supportive place to relax. I enjoy your poetry, so please keep writing.

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  5. This was terrific! I loved the image of the exploding soda bottle. That is such a great way to describe enthusiasm for something and it’s a fun play on the expression “bottled up.” Thanks for sharing your story. This was really good.

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  6. Thanks for the blog. Your writing always strikes a chord with me and many others. I’m looking forward to your next book.

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  7. Thank you, for sharing this wonderful expression of your beginning. Your writing is rich with the truth of your heart.

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  8. Your journey to writing actually sounds a lot like mine. Except that I didn’t join the military. Although I thought about it. Maybe I should have. But I digress. The point is, I’m glad that we both found our way back to the thing we love and keeps our souls afire.

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    • Hi RG, I think the similarities of human experience lends power to our stories. That connection is what I love the most. Thanks for sharing your talent with the rest of us.

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