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Our Process: Why We Write

by Tara

This entry is part of an ongoing series about how we've documented our adventure.

Why do we write? We write to capture our lives, to record our adventures, to share with our family and friends, and maybe, to leave a legacy for our children. Writing helps us assign meaning to the string of ephemeral moments that make up our time on this planet.

I believe that every day, no matter how mundane, has a gift to offer. All I need do is remember to take notice of the world around me. It is this, the taking notice which has been the greatest lesson I've gleaned from our daily writing discipline.

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Whether we're off exploring a new country, climbing mountains, meeting strangers, or simply trying a dish I've never had, my senses are heightened with purpose. I'm noting and recording the smallest details, saving and remembering the sights, smells, sounds, flavors, and emotions of the day.

The act of writing has changed who I am and how I view the world. Carrying the knowledge that I will be documenting an experience urges me to approach life with an unabashed inquisitiveness.

When it's time to write, we try to throw ourselves into the multi-sensory memories we've collected, re-living the experience as fully as we can. Writing takes a lot of time, and is often frustrating, but we try not to allow ourselves to quit until we've done justice to the event we're archiving.

Once we've committed an experience both to memory and to "paper", we feel an overwhelming sense of joy. It's crystallized, cataloged, captured for all time like a bug in amber, stored where we can revisit it over and over again, whenever we wish.

Palanga Amber Museum

Things which might be swept along with the speeding passage of time, only to be forgotten, we are fighting to isolate and elevate. We want to highlight the beauty and intensity of living passionately. From picking a ripe strawberry, to losing one's glasses, from being given Easter eggs from an old Serbian woman, to eating a massive ice cream sundae… these simple things that might have been lost are now remembered, and celebrated with gratitude.

Crab Apple
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Making for Cambodia


Hey Tyler & Tara, I've been following your blog for a while, but have never commented. Just wanted to drop a note on how much I enjoy and appreciate your writing! Wish you continued safe & happy travels :)
Posted by Jess on December 10th, 2010 at 9:37 PM
:) So true! Great post :)
Posted by Elizabeth on December 11th, 2010 at 4:11 PM
Hello again! You may not remember me, but I commented a while back when you were in St. Petersburg, Russia. I just thought I'd drop a note and say that I am still reading and appreciating (and living vicariously through) your writings. I think your description of why you write is very apt, and is exactly why *I* write as well. I look forward to hearing about Cambodia! Safe travels :0)
Posted by liza on December 11th, 2010 at 7:03 PM
Jess - Hi! Thank you for letting us know you're enjoying our site!

Elizabeth - I thought of you when I wrote this. I wanted to quote all of Bird by Bird, but I didn't. Thank you for sharing it with us! I still love reading your blog, and am so happy you had such a wonderful time at home!

Liza - Hi there! Thank you for your comments, now and earlier. Just checked out your blog and... CONGRATULATIONS!
Posted by Tara on December 15th, 2010 at 2:13 AM
Hey, thanks! Being married kind of rocks, but then, you already know that :0) Enjoying reading about Asia! Happy New Year to you both :0)
Posted by liza on January 1st, 2011 at 12:52 AM
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