marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

Why I Write

Writing, for me, is self-discovery. At times I feel confused or I want answers, and when I write about it, the mud often sinks to the bottom and I can see things more clearly. It’s a clarification process. Often I start a piece, and by the time I’ve finished it, I’ve answered some questions. It’s sort of like, as Lillian Hellman said as she described the term “pentimento,” my “old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing, and then seeing again.” “Pentimento”—a term in art where sometimes, the artist changing his mind, paints over what he had previously put on the canvas. Thus, he repented.  Many times I’ve written stories that ended up nowhere I had intended. I thought I wanted to write about one thing, but ended up writing about something else.  It’s a real excavation process, as we mine our depths often coming out so much richer in self-knowledge than we were in the...