top of page
Writing by the Water

"Why I Write"

By Kate Stanley
(A White Hill Writer)

I write because I need to, not as an obligation, a job or a chore, but because I have to express in writing what I am thinking, dreaming, feeling or even fearing.  Just as a childhood trip to the seaside wasn’t complete unless something was bought at the souvenir shop, these days experiences, plans or just mental musings only become real when they appear on the page, handwritten at first.
Over the years, writing has become my favourite form of creativity. Knitting, painting, and woodcarving projects are left unfinished because my hands have to be free to write.  In my early teens I started keeping diaries, secretly recording hopes, dreams and general angst. Most of these I (mercifully) destroyed after blushing hotly when I read them again years later.  I went through a phase of collecting “quotes”, filling notebooks with snippets of anything I heard or read that seemed significant, clever or witty to me.  These days they might be called ‘memes’, those captions written over photos of flowers or sunsets and which litter the internet.  Was I ahead of my time? I still have those notebooks, I still collect quotes and they sometimes make their way into my writing.
I have a collection of poems I wrote in my early twenties; again, many make me cringe but most of them were written to amuse and are mainly in the style of little ditties.  As a joke, I once wrote one on a square of toilet paper (the old fashioned sort!) and sent it to my parents (I was at university).  It went along the lines of ”Help, I’m locked in the loo! I cannot get out, oh what shall I do?”  I wrote it purely to entertain, but my poor parents thought it was a coded cry of distress, and immediately booked a weekend visit to come and see me.
Over the years I have written countless letters to friends, family and pen friends.  I lived in South Africa in the 1980s and I wrote at least once a week to my parents, my brother and my best friend back in England.  I have some of their letters still but no record of my own.  In the days before email, the equivalent of a ‘Sent’ folder would have been carbon copies of typed letters, but mine were handwritten on ‘onion skin’ airmail paper and all I have is a reflection of what I wrote in others’ replies.  It seems that when you post a paper letter, you send your words out into the ether even more so than when sending an email.
I write now for different reasons: to capture my past, to reflect on the present, to amuse, sometimes to inform. Most of my writing could be described as essays or short articles, examining things which are important to me, or reflecting on my past.  I write because I love words and language, exploring and experimenting with poetry and prose, trying a Haiku, inventing metaphors, testing rhyme and rhythm. I also write for fun, trying my hand at flash fiction, humour, even Instagram captions. But the underlying current that pulls me along is the need to write.

Why We Write: Headliner

"Why I Write"

By Garry Giles

(A White Hill Writer)

I write because I can

It’s my therapy, it’s who I am

It started long ago

Not an easy fix, slow quick slow

Then a tune came

Into my head

I moved the words around

And sang them instead

So I had it

My first ever song

No more writing rules

I couldn’t go wrong

But then stories

Where do I start?

“Look around yourself

And listen so hard”

Wise words

I came to believe

Stories here

Wherever I breathe

I make myself laugh

I make myself cry

I can change someone’s fortune

In the blink of an eye

The power of the pen

Is a mighty sword

The power of the mind

And the written word

It’s a passion you see

Like an unlocked desire

Waiting to fill you

With heartache and fire

To test your emotions

From anger to love

To make you despair

When you’ve had quite enough

Why do I write?

Well, I just can’t resist it

Can I carry on please?

You seem to be listening

Why We Write: Headliner
bottom of page