Day Five’s question in BootsnAll’s #indie30 project is an easy one for me to answer:
What else (besides travel) are you passionate about?
In a word: words. Words are my profession and one of my greatest passions.
I write, I blog, I teach writing. I write when I travel, I write about traveling, I write so I can afford to travel.
I write to make sense of my thoughts. I write to make sense of the world.
I write to make my readers recognize their thoughts in my words; I write so they can read and say Yes.
In the international workshops I teach, words connect American kids to their peers in far-off corners of the planet. They introduce themselves in letters, they write about their hometowns, they write about their hopes for the future, they write their good wishes for their new, distant friends. By exchanging words, they exchange knowledge about each other. They exchange understanding. Words bridge the distances; words broaden their world.
And when I’m not writing or teaching writing, I’m often reading other people’s words. Stories, plays, poetry, essays. Backs of cereal boxes. Tubes of toothpaste. If words are in front of me, I’m reading them. Right now, words are behind me, too: I’m sitting in my office with my back to an entire wall of books, filled with other people’s words.
As the playwright Tom Stoppard said:
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”
That’s my hope, my goal, my passion. That’s why I play with words.
Image: By Juanedc from Zaragoza, España (Letras Uploaded by juanedc) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons