Why I write

This morning a reader sent me word that she had come across my writings through a columnist in the Madison Magazine in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m always curious about such things, so I dug the article out through a web search. It’s titled Unanswered prayers. The section quoted is taken from either Letters To My Son or Simple Truths.

These are the kinds of surprises that keep a person writing. To the outside world the writing life looks glamorous. But on the inside it is often a very lonely place. You wonder if you are involved in something that is self-absorbed and self-referential, and if you could better pay your rent for your time on the planet by doing something more immediately relational.

Then moments like this occur.

I’d like to thank all of you who write me, quote me, or use my works in your personal or professional lives. Life really is all about service. Whenever I can feel I’ve been of service, I get a breath of wind in my sails and push forward with a little more courage and conviction.

I hope January is treating you all well. Keep in touch.

3 thoughts on “Why I write”

  1. Renee S. Audette

    When we do something wonderful, often no one tells us. Yet when we mess up or someone thinks we made a mistake, we sure hear about it.

    So I would like to tell you that I enjoy your writings very much, and have four of your books. “Simple Truths” caught my eye at a bookstore several years ago and was my first book of yours. I loved it, still do, and reread it often.

    Being from Minnesota and visiting family in Minnesota every year, the fact that you live in Minnesota was an immediate connection for me. I very much enjoy your writings about Minnesota; you have such a different perspective from what I grew up with. My father hated the north and the cold and encouraged me to move away to a warmer climate. Reading “A Haunting Reverence” was revealing for me. It actually inspired me to explore my original homeland more; perhaps there is more here than I was aware of.

    Writing does very much seem like a glamorous and great way to make a living. But like everything else, the reality is that it requires discipline, work, attention, and tenacity. And then you have to get an editor/publisher interested in what you have written.

    Thank you for having all of the above, so that the rest of us can enjoy your writings. And having a website where readers can respond to you and read up on what you are doing is great. Maybe that is the norm these days, I don’t follow many writers.

    Anyway, all of us need positive feedback. Your note reminded me to give some to you. Keep up the good work.

    R.S. Audette

  2. I LOVED your book Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Reading it I learned a lot about myself. It also helped me understand my husband more. A lot of things Dan said I’ve heard my husband say, but not in the same words. This was a very enlightening book and I look forward to reading more of your books. I’m tring to write a book myself how do you get over the fear of it not being any good?

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