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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Editor's Note: Along with the National Writing Project, Figment, and The New York Times Learning Network, we are celebrating the National Day on Writing today. As part of this celebration, we're inviting writers to share the why of writing in an essay, poem or post. Please add your own thoughts in the comment section below, and/or follow the hashtag #whyiwrite on Twitter.

Writing compresses my thoughts
Some escaping my grasp Like a
Slippery eel some trapped
Manipulated dissected prodded
Then set free on a tether only
To be yanked back, restrained again

Writing shatters the chains
Of the jailers of creativity
Follow one rule, break all rules
Speed, steal, dive below morality
Test ethical boundaries

Writing brings back childhood
Smells, sights, pain, pleasure
The comfort of a plastic toy
The excitement of the basement

Writing persuades
The tightest bolt to loosen
The rust cracking and crumbling
Like flakes of baked wheat

Writing sometimes occurs
So effortlessly that the words
Connect like a pre-made puzzle
And, most of the time, writing
Is as difficult as trying to slide
A slimy oyster into a slot machine

I write for nonreaders
I write for the oppressed
I write what I want to read
I write to think
I write to discover
I write for the sake of writing

I write because I must
There's really no choice

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