Why I Write

Angela and Julie Scipioni, co-authors, Iris & Lily
Today’s post is part of a blog hop that I was invited to participate in by my colleague and friend, Robin Rushnell Taney, founder of Studio4PR.The objective is to write a post about why I write. I invited Angela Scipioni - my sister and co-author of Iris & Lily to share this post with me.

Here's what I have to say about why I write:

The first profound thing I ever remember writing was an entry in my diary when I was 13 years old. In that entry, I expounded at length upon the feelings I had for a young man who soon afterwards became my first boyfriend, in a romance that blossomed during the summer between eighth grade and high school. The diary itself was covered in faux leather - as much an imitation, or a maybe a shadow, of the real thing as the relationship was. The lock on the diary didn't work, as I remember. Either that, or I never bothered to lock it, having had an underdeveloped sense of privacy growing up. It's odd now that I think of it since my thoughts were one of the few things I could have kept for myself in my very large, very intrusive family. I wonder if I knew they couldn't see my mind without my permission.

At some point along the way, I went back to that entry of deeply detailed 13-year-old love/angst and scribbled over it in pen until I could no longer read what it said. I distinctly remember having gone back to read it and being repulsed by my own words, or maybe by the feelings they resurrected.

I suppose when I first made that entry, it was to express myself. And when I scratched it out, it was because my feelings had changed. Both were a diary entry in their own way - one a stake in the ground and the other a stake pulled up when it was time to move on.

My writing life - and my life-at-large - has since been marked by thoughts fervently expressed, left out unlocked, and then often obscured by a change in heart or mind, lost in the scribble of personal growth, or, God willing, wisdom.

So I guess I would say that I write to find out what I'm thinking about and how I'm feeling, to openly share that with others, and then to look back upon what I have written in an effort to understand how I, my thoughts, my feelings, or my life have changed.

I figure as long as there is always something I wish I could go back and scribble out, I am going in the right direction.

And here's what Angela had to say about why she writes:

Writing has been an integral part of my life, all of my life, but I’ve never given much thought to the question: Why do I write? I simply grew into it naturally, like I did as a child when I learned how to talk, or sing, or dance, or make music. Just as I cannot imagine remaining still and quiet my whole life, I cannot imagine a life without writing.  It’s an instrument I use to elaborate the thoughts and emotions and ideas bubbling up inside me, another channel through which to convey them beyond the limits of my being, where they wash over one another, ebbing and flowing with the pull of my mind’s tide. My writing is not driven by a compulsion to establish myself in terms of how great an audience I can attract, rather it is something I cannot help myself from doing. Just as I often dance alone, and sing alone for the pure joy of expression, I write alone.  All writers write alone. Except when they don’t.

I never would have guessed that my dream of one day writing a novel would be so spontaneously and irreversibly transformed into the reality of working nonstop for four years with another writer. But strange things can happen when you share a dream with a sister. A sister who also can’t imagine a life without writing, and singing, and dancing, and making music.  I venture to say that writing a novel together has been our greatest gift to one another. Through our passion for writing, we have turned a shared dream into reality: a 1400-page reality called Iris & Lily.  I feel blessed and amazed that we have been able to produce this novel together. I am awed by the power of writing. I have been profoundly changed by this process. While searching for my voice as a novelist, I have rediscovered a uniquely talented woman and friend. Our blood ties have been enriched and strengthened by a new sisterhood, a sisterhood which I extend to all our readers and fellow writers.

Write on, sister!

Angela and Julie Scipioni are co-authors of the novel Iris & Lily. Visit IrisandLilytheNovel.com to learn more. 

And now, here are the next two people in the blog hop:

Wendy Shinyo Haylett is a freelance resume writer and career consultant, helping professionals and executives define, refine, and market their professional brand. She is also a Buddhist teacher and Minister, affiliated with The Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism. Her book, Living As Yourself: Being Not Becoming will be published later this year or early 2015. Visit Wendy on LinkedIn.

Robin L. Flanigan is a freelance journalist for magazines, newspapers, books and websites. She is working on a creative nonfiction book about love, loss and second chances, and lives in Rochester, NY, with her husband and daughter. Her website is www.thekineticpen.com and she blogs at www.thekineticpen.wordpress.com.