I really have no choice. Either I write, or I write about why I don't write or can't write or etc., etc.

I write because writing gets me back to my own voice and the person inside that voice--the one who gets lost in other people's voices. I write because it is silent work, and silence is my native tongue. Yours too, really.

I write because it forces me to listen, and listening is my idea of obedience.

I write in the same way that I travel: not to get somewhere but to be on the road.

I write to use the whole of me, whatever there is of me.

I write because it is the only way I know of to make thoughts palpable. It is my way of peeing around the boundaries of myself, of marking ME on the world.

I write because even when the writing isn't going well, it's a good struggle; and when it is going well, it's like flying. I don't mean it's like sitting inside an airplane looking out the window. I mean the kind of flying that a raven does when it hurls itself from the top of a tall dead tree knowing, as it unfurls its dark wings, that something invisible is always waiting out there to lift it almost to the moon.

I write because I want others to know me in a way that's safe for me to reveal myself. I write with the hope that other people want to know who I am in the same way that I want to know them.

I write because I am one of the others who want to know who is writing.

I write because I can; because writing fits me like a lost glove that I am about to find, because I love to string words together like Christmas lights around my little tree.

I write to tell others about people that I think they might want to meet.

I write to arrange those meetings; and I invite myself along.

I write to meet myself on the page and wish me luck. I feel completely alive when I write. Those little ink marks appearing before me on the otherwise blank space of the page have magical qualities. They banish my hesitation and fear and replace them with confidence, acceptance, love.

Stanley Dudek