Why I Write

When I was 18 I got on a plane and left my home with a suitcase and no idea where I wanted to be.

Uncertainty wasn’t a new sensation for me. I’d never been sure about anything. My family, my religion, my education, my friends, all teetered on the brink, ready to shatter at the slightest touch. So I distanced myself, terrified of being cut when the shards hit the ground.

I sat in a plane bound for Israel with a backpack filled to the brim with books. I didn’t trust the baggage handlers not to lose them in my suitcase, and I didn’t care about any of my possessions so long as I had the few favorite novels I could bring with me on my journey to nowhere in particular. When the plane lifted off the ground and I said a silent goodbye to Georgia, I took out my battered copy of The Hobbit and ran my fingers across the cover, breathing deeply, calmed by the words that I knew were underneath.

I was the girl who believed in nothing, but I believed in stories.

From the first time I curled up on my grandfather’s lap and listened as he confided in me the secrets of childhood days spent roaming the swamps of Georgia, I was hooked. With each intake of a tale I’d never been told, I fell a little deeper in love with the way that words lingered in my ears and passed through my brain, resting on the tip of my tongue when I whispered them to the darkness before I fell asleep at night.

They became the driving force of my young life, and my hope. The place I rested when I could find nowhere else. The one constant in my life was the sustaining power of a story well told. I grew up in them, and learned through them.

And as the years passed and life got worse and better, they were there.

When I left my religion and joined another, they were there.

Through bad relationships and the birth of my children, they remained constant.

Even though life now is not what it once was, I remain in the realm of made up dreams, a place with more depth and width, more joy and pain than this world could ever hope for.

I am a writer, as I am a reader, because I believe in nothing more. I write for every breath my grandmother and grandfather spent on me as they wove their beautiful stories, for everyone who has put pen to paper in the hope that they might ease another’s pain and eased mine.

I write because those long forgotten tellers of tales who sat around campfires a thousand years ago inspiring the awe of their listeners deserve to be kept alive in the sparks of magic that occur when something that never was finds life on the page or in the heart of a reader.

Callie Armstrong © 2013


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ned's Blog says:

    Beautifully said and absolutely true. The world needs storytellers of all kinds, not including Washington D.C., but you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing your story, and those yet to come. Welcome aboard, Callie.

    1. calliedeanne says:

      Thank you for reading Ned. I really appreciate it! I look forward to getting my footing in this whole blogging world!

      1. Ned's Blog says:

        I started blogging a year ago last week. I was uncertain about it at first. Now it’s hard to imagine not having my blog. It’a a great outlet for a writer, allowing you to explore your own writing as well as others’ writing. I’ve been a columnist for 15 years, and this has made it even more enjoyable. I’m sure you’ll en joy it too. Have fun!

  2. imlegsinger says:

    Callie, that was amazing! You put it perfectly! I always like to say I’m a storyteller who loves a good story. If something I do touches someone or makes a difference, then that’s best gift I could get. It’s great to hear I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Thank you for sharing your stories, I look forward to hearing more from you.

    1. calliedeanne says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading it!

  3. Jason says:

    I really dig the hope and wonder in the way you write about stories here.

    You know how important stories are to me by now, and you’ve done a wonderful job of capturing that feeling. It’s interesting to consider how much of our lives are simply stories that we are telling ourselves, and telling others, into becoming what we are.

    Very Nice work.

  4. Callie,

    I so enjoyed reading this!

  5. This is absolutely beautiful, Callie! I’m so glad you do write, because what a way with words you have.


  6. Carrie says:

    Gorgeous post Callie! I love your sense of adventure and your love of stories. 🙂

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