Why I Write

Three-year-old Anna at Hendricks Park, May 2009

Photo: Julia Ozab (2009)

I didn’t start out as a writer. I’ve been a musician for many years. I first picked up a guitar when I was sixteen. I played in bands through high school and college. I went to graduate school to study composition. I got a Ph.D. I had my music published, performed, and recorded. I taught music technology, recording, and multimedia classes for eight years. It was my path—my career.

And then, four-and-a-half years ago I started writing.


Because my daughter, who had just turned three, couldn’t be understood. I wrote to give her a voice because she didn’t have one yet, and I wanted to tell her story.

The story of a girl born with a cleft, who had surgery at four months old. A girl who had been through enough in her short life when we found out she had childhood apraxia of speech.

I became a writer for her. Sometimes, in the midst of all the work—the hundreds of thousands of words, the writing, rewriting, editing, and proofing—not to mention all the work that goes into a writing career—networking, promotion, querying, submitting, blogging, web page tweaking, etc—in the midst of all the business I forget why I’m doing this.

And then Lisa-Jo Baker hands me a prompt—”WRITE“—and it all floods back.

Why do I write?

To give a voice to my daughter, to all kids without voices, and to all the voiceless.

I’m not sure what that means in terms of what I will write next. But it gives me something to think about, and to write about. Out of that idea, I will see what comes next.

And that is a good thing.

Five Minute Friday

3 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. christywillard says:

    Wow! Such a wonderful motivation for writing, your daughter! Sometimes we get so caught up in the other stuff that we forget why we started doing this in the first place. It’s good to remember and perhaps refocus.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life


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