Because you exist. Because writing allows me to discover myself, even parts of me that had previously lay hidden, dormant, that I had never before known existed.
The art of writing is what you’re trying to say, that’s the art. Sometimes you’re being very direct, pointing to, well, the point, with a big arrow-shaped cut-out, but a lot of times, it’s subtle. It’s scene setting and characterization and world-building. Sometimes the street corner is the plot and character both. The art is maybe why you’re writing, whereas the craft is how you’re writing.
In my writing and reading life, I thank as "family": Cervantes, whose Don Quijote battled lies with the swords of the imagination; García Márquez, whose notes from life "helped themselves to coincidences forbidden to fiction"; Isabel Allende whose magical humor lends resilience in tragedy. And as I write these days in a vein of the "fantastic" in my novel, I include Julio Cortázar, with his alternating currents of glittering worlds.
I didn’t discover Sherman Alexie until well after college, but when I did, I felt at home. He was the first author I read that talked about the experiences of going to Indian Health Services, of being different from both white people and his own family and tribe, and of the struggles of modern Natives in the U.S. I laughed aloud when I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and then I basically demanded everyone I know read it.
...Joan Didion once described keepers of private notebooks as “children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss”