by Renée Layberry
In response to the Writers Union of Canada’s #WhyWritersMatter campaign, I got to thinking: I’ve been a (mostly private) writer since I was a child; it’s how I sorted out my thoughts and mapped my way through life as a kid and young adult. I write to understand my world and myself and others.
Writers matter because there’s something about pen to paper that feels undeniably grounding. Writers matter because anyone who reads those ink-marks can travel together on a landscape that can include and transcend physical geography. Our worlds, within and without, are expanded, transformed, united.
As a writer, reader, and editor, I can connect profoundly with others I’ve never met in person. I am changed by what I write, and I am changed by what I read.
Writing is, to me, the most human, unifying act we can engage in, whether we’re the author or audience. Tangentially, editing is about promoting those voices, tying all the threads together, weaving together lives and people and experiences from all over the world and throughout eras.
Last but not least: I met my husband through a writers’ forum and knew he was someone to pay attention to because of a haiku he shared. Best seventeen syllables of my life.