The Divining Wand

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Julianna Baggott: Why I Write

February 08, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Books, Guest Posts

[Julianna Baggott (complete listing of her books) is an author who writes across genres, believing they complement rather than are separate from each other.

Available today is the author’s riveting, breakout novel PURE — the first volume in her post-apocalypse thriller trilogy. It’s based on Julianna’s background of magical realism. That is what she writes and, in this guest post, she explains why.]

Why I Write

I’m answering this question late at night — in a usually loud house now quiet. The kids are asleep in bedrooms nearby. My husband is in asleep downstairs, my parents in the guest room, the dogs on dog pillows out for the night. It’s dark except for this glow.

I’m here as a moth, batting against light.

I’m here because I’ve learned that writing – this twitch of my fingers – is really rooted deep inside of me. It’s a way of running your hands through the reeds, the silt – the kind of silt still clouding the day, the kind settled (like memory) waiting to be stirred.
I’m here because my mind has things to run through.

I’m here because this is a place I’ve come to know. The white page, patient as snow.

I’m here because I’ve lived this day as a writer – meaning I’ve lived doubly. I’ve lived it as myself and I’ve lived it to pull from it what I need to remake a world. Or, no, I’ve spent the day collecting and now I have these things to shine up and set against each other.

I’m here to make. I have the human desire to create something from nothing.

The day’s done, but I’m not done with it. I miss it already. I long for what’s slipped by. I want to keep. I’m here because I hoard the days. I hoard our fragile lives.

I write because sometimes there are too many words to keep up with. They’re noisy. They churn in the chest like a motor.

Where else would I go? What else would I do?

I’m here because the world itself doesn’t do what I want it to do. In fact, it’s unruly, unpredictable.

I’m here because when in deep, that unruly world (that brutal world) slips away. I am immersed. I’ve found warm water. There’s the silt again.

I’m here writing because I want to give something. I want to be put to good use. Here, I say, here and here. Fistfuls. Any use?

* * * * *

Book Giveaway: To celebrate the release day of PURE, The Divining Wand will give away one copy of the book — in a random drawing — to anyone who leaves a comment on this post before the deadline of 8:59 p.m. EST tonight! If you enter, please return tomorrow when the winners of both Book Giveaways will be announced.

19 Comments to “Julianna Baggott: Why I Write”


  1. I was introduced to Julianna Baggott through this blog and then became one of her fans on Facebook. Time and again I am impressed with a post she’s written on her blog about creativity or the writing process. She’s probably one of my favorite writers. So thank you, Larramie, for introducing Julianna to us again!

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  2. What a lovely post! It beautifully illustrates why writers need to write, why they are compelled to share their words with strangers. Thank-you for sharing, Julianna.

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  3. Love this: “I’m here because I’ve lived this day as a writer – meaning I’ve lived doubly. I’ve lived it as myself and I’ve lived it to pull from it what I need to remake a world. Or, no, I’ve spent the day collecting and now I have these things to shine up and set against each other.”

    Thanks for sharing why you read. It was a joy to read!

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  4. Aileen Murphy says:

    Thanks for this Julianna–I will share with the writers in our Blue Ridge Writing Project. The question “why do I write” is something we like to examine. Such a beautiful series of answers to it!

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  5. Jesse Waters says:

    You and Terry Tempest Williams just spit hot fia!!

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  6. Thank you for giving me the words to things I can’t say. 🙂

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  7. And because this post was perfect, and other writers needed to hear it.

    “The day’s done, but I’m not done with it. I miss it already. I long for what’s slipped by. I want to keep. I’m here because I hoard the days. I hoard our fragile lives.”

    “I’m here writing because I want to give something. I want to be put to good use. Here, I say, here and here. Fistfuls. Any use?”

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  8. This is beautiful, and so, so true!

    “I’ve spent the day collecting and now I have these things to shine up and set against each other.”

    And….

    “I write because sometimes there are too many words to keep up with.”

    Both of those comments really resonate with me. Creativity is bittersweet, is it not? But more sweet I think. Thanks for the reminder, Julianna!

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  9. Desiree Dighton says:

    Always inspiring. Thanks for posting and for writing period. I love the line about running fingers through silt. Gorgeous.

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  10. I’ve read books from all her genres and she masters them all.

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  11. Yes. To all of it. Amazing!

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  12. I’m here because I would love a free copy of Pure. I’m dying to read it, but new books are slightly beyond my means right now. Also, I’m here because I deeply appreciated JB, and I enjoyed this post.

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  13. I would love a copy of the book–I love JB’s writing!

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  14. Yes, you have to want to write more than almost anything else in the world. Still, sometimes it’s just about the hardest thing there is to do in that world.

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  15. lovely stuff

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  16. Brittany Michelson says:

    Beautiful and inspiring words. I’m sitting down to write right now with it in mind. Thank you for this!

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  17. This seems like a poem. Does she write poetry? I would love to read it.

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  18. don’t know how you do it, Julie. You must never sleep…and clearly you don’t

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  19. As always, Julianna, you inspire.

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