#WhyIWrite: Ann

Dr. Ann Hayes, Manager of Online Content & Research

In honor of National Writing Day on October 20, the team behind our writing products - PEG Writing, and PEG Writing Scholar - will be sharing their stories of why they write. We will share a story per day this week. We hope you enjoy getting to know our team and hearing about why they choose to write.

I love to write. Writing makes me feel as though I am plumbing depths of myself that I do not always know exist. I’m often surprised by my writing because the words somehow magically appear on the paper, having flowed not from my mouth but from my fingers, somehow also bypassing my conscious brain.

My parents loved reading and the English language and passed this love on to me. They read to us nightly and spoke to us using precise words from their impressive vocabularies.  For any situation, my mother and grandfather could quote poetry that perfectly suited. Those early influences shaped my love for words and my appreciation for the endless ways in which they could produce thought, emotion, and action.

From my thrilling first experience of writing a real short story in grade school to my struggle to learn the rigors of expository writing, I love the challenge of unearthing just the right words to capture what I am seeing, feeling, hearing, and thinking, to state my ideas in a unique way so that readers, including myself, will be touched or inspired or intrigued.

Why do I write? I write because throughout my life, writing has been an important outlet when my emotions overwhelm me. I can have my fictional characters take on the fear, anger, anxiety, disappointment, grief, joy, or anticipation that I am experiencing, thus relieving me of some of the intensity of those feelings. I can write a letter expressing thoughts and feelings I should not or would not be able to express in person, and edit it until it clearly states exactly what I intend, without on-the-spot searching for the right word. I can then send it or not, as the case dictates.  

I write because writing an essay can clearly explain a topic or an idea, perhaps illuminating it for others but always further illuminating it for me. I write because writing allows me to express my appreciation, love, happiness, sympathy, and empathy for my friends and loved ones in a form that can be read again and again. And almost every day, I write because I have the opportunity to ignite curiosity and excitement  in students for not only writing, but for the world around us as well.