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Why I Write A wallet-sized reminder


At 3 a.m., I studied the 1000-word personal statement I had agonized over for four months. It was for a scholarship I wouldn’t get. But unaware of impending rejection and 27 drafts later, I knew it was the best. Still, I couldn’t believe how long it had taken to reach this point. Should it have been this hard?


During this time, I wrote about other stuff and revelled in my notes. Smart quips lifted off every page. I wasn’t scared when it came to writing about what was outside of me.


Writing is hard. The knowing-where-to-start part isn’t hard; it’s convincing myself that not all, but some of what I write in a first draft will be good. Maybe even very good. Perhaps good enough to shift into the 2nd draft, and the next. It’s knowing that my first drafts will never be final, and being okay with that.


Besides rejection and insomnia, the 1000-word essay led me to the reason why I write. Sure, it’s because I like it. And because I love stories. But the process of writing is the reason why I write. There is no better way to learn about process than when you’re discovering your own.


I continue to write because I’m lucky to have been both encouraged and criticized. My voice is stronger than it used to be. I enjoy experimenting with new techniques. I write because my words will never be perfect, and the idea of always getting better is an exciting one.


sarahhandelman.com

Why I Write  

A wallet-sized reminder

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