This is why I am a writer. Because the world is shaped by our stories. Everything is narrative. Why we do the things we do, and the way we justify those things, all narrative. Religion? Even science! Yes, I said it! It’s still stories – that’s what explanations are, after all, stories that create meaning, patterns, out of data.

I think all humans have a need for a framework on which to hang the meaning of their lives. I think the thing that drives Science, Art, Religion, Love, Everything, is, at its base, a need for stories to make meaning out of the darkness. Because I am a human with my own biases, of course I think some of those mythologies are better than others, but I think the driving force, the need for MEANING at the heart of all of them is the same.

Everything is narrative. I write to wrest truth from the murk of the world. I write because sometimes you can find a truth amongst a made up thing that you can’t find from a ‘real’ thing. I write because sometimes the only sense you can make from the senseless is to wrestle it into the shape of a story. I write because that is where I touch the light, that is where I can reach out and put my hands into the thing at the heart of everything and draw something beautiful out of it.

I write because when faced with the enormous meaningless darkness, you can choose to scream or you can choose to sing, and I choose to sing. I write because when faced with the basic human choice of destruction or creation, I choose creation. I write because story is meaning and meaning is light, even when it’s hard and dark and twisted and disturbed. I write to grab hold of the demons and drag them out where we can see them. I write because the border between the sacred and the profane is not as big as we like to think.

I write because I love the grey lands, the in betweens, the places where the dichotomies break down, and by writing I can wander them, I can reach through with my words and my language and pull those fences down, I can make my language, my poetry, my tricksy linguistic ways make colours out of the black and white. 

I write because the world needs more stories, ALL our stories. Because the more voices we have, the more we can see how many voices there are and how diverse and wondrous and beautiful and human they all are. I write because the world needs my poly geeky weirdo mother mythos that is all and only mine, just like it needs yours, whatever it is.

I write because that is how I tell my stories. There are a thousand ways to tell a story, a million. I pull the words from the air, from my mind, from the places between the cracks, from the liminal worlds I love, from the people I know, and the sky and the flame. I pull the language out and I twist and I wrestle and I give it meaning, and then I let it out to ride and soar and fly, and hope that maybe out there it touches someone, does something, changes things for the better.

I write to make light. I write to make beauty. I write because this thing in me is restless and wants to sing. I write because everything is stories. The stories are everything.

And because I have to.

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