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This Is Why I Write

this is why I write, girl with notebook on table

One of the first moments I remember writing was when I was young. Though all my first memories are blurry, I distinctly remember fourth grade because that was the first year a teacher really empowered me to write without restrictions. I sat in a little desk staring at the red plaid notebook in my hand, turning the pages over and marveling about the endless possibilities. Back then, I didn’t know that this book would be one of many I would fill, and that these words on paper would spiral into a passion I couldn’t run away from. I didn’t know that writing would define my life, my relationships, and my career from this moment forward. And I didn’t know, that this is why I write, even today, because words speak from the heart what our voices often cannot.

I write because there is nothing else I’d rather do than to breathe life into paper with words.

A few months ago, I took a goal (based upon combining my writing and my teaching backgrounds) and ran with it. After months of being pulled in a direction I was terrified of, I finally gave in. I finally closed my eyes and stepped forward, deciding to trust.

There is little explaining for what these past few months have been, other than I finally understand what people mean when they say, ‘let go and let God.’ I’ve watched as things I thought defined me—my salaried full time job, my one bedroom apartment, my selfishness, my time—shift and reshape as I stepped towards what is now my business, Be A Light.

When I decided to pursue Be A Light, I had two goals: One, to take my writing and do something more with it. Two, to empower other people to find their voices through writing coaching, editing services, and a strong community foundation. I now have jumped into this space of running a business, meeting with clients, trying to handle administrative duties, build a website, and write all at once. And it’s not always easy to fit everything in. It’s a mess, really, but what I like to call my ‘crazy-good mess.’

The other day I was having a conversation with my mom, who said, simply, “Focus on what matters and do that first.” Though it’s hard to determine what matters when everything is so closely tied to my heart, one thing resonated with me, the fundamental truth behind everything—my ‘why’the words themselves.

At the core of who I am, I am not a business. Not an organization. And not a company. I am a heart, a voice of someone who cares, and I am words. And above all else that grows around me—from my writing coaching, to my client base, to the relationships and progressions of my company—writing is the center.

This is why I write: Because it’s the only thing that matters.

When I write, I open. And when I open, I grow. And you grow alongside me. Together, we connect, share space and vulnerability, and make a path for ourselves on this earth. I write because sharing my heart can possibly reach someone who has struggled with what I’ve struggled with, or who has burdens that need lifting. I write because it’s the scariest, most honest, and truly beautiful thing I’ve ever done.

When I think about the ‘why’ it always comes back to how emotions can be shared on paper or online, or how strangers can find friends through the internet. Or how sometimes our problems become far less daunting when we know we’re not facing them alone. It goes beyond me and what I selfishly love, and the way opening a book can remind you of the person you used to be. Or how a line of poetry helps to ease your aching heart. Or when you turn to a new page, you’re reminded that life will continue, even if it’s hard right now.

The other day, someone messaged me on Instagram and asked me, simply, ‘why?’ Why do I write? I write because it’s something that I care about, but also because I feel we each have something that creates our purpose in this world. And this is mine.

I write for reasons beyond my understanding sometimes, as often the words write themselves. I often find, later, that they were words someone needed to hear—God working through this platform to be exactly who and what that person needs.

When I think about the conversation my mother and I had, I’m struck by how simple it is. What matters the most? The words. Everything else will stem from that. So I open my laptop first, before anything else, and set them free.

Featured Image Credit: NeONBRAND

This entry was posted in: Poetry


Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️


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