Last week a relative asked me to remove a post from my blog. It was too personal, too difficult for him to read. It made him uncomfortable. It made others uncomfortable, he said.
I'm not in the business of starting family battles, so I removed the post.
But the request unearthed questions writers have been asking for centuries. Why do we write?
Why do I write?
For me, the answer is simple, if not corny: I feel compelled, called to give a voice to certain stories.
Every week I receive several messages from readers struggling to care for the parents they love. Some share the pain they feel as they look into the eyes of people who cared and sacrificed for them but now cannot remember who they are. I receive messages from people who once enjoyed vacations and family time and now struggle to cobble together incomes to support their families. I receive photos from people who want to share the beautiful homes they once owned that are now up for auction. Sometimes I receive tips or ideas from people who relate to my experiences and want to share their own.
These people thank me for sharing my stories and telling theirs.
A story that resonates, that makes us squirm in our seats, that brings emotion to the surface, is a powerful one. And, to me, it is worth telling.