Why I Write

Why I Write

I write to satisfy a fundamental need.

I started writing within a couple of weeks after undergoing my third (and hopefully last) brain surgery. Initially, my motivation was to understand the new and inexplicable world that surrounded me, and to understand this new person I was becoming. I wrote to help loved ones recognize how and why my brain injury had changed me. I wrote for other survivors who were on similar journeys.

As I progressed in my writing, my project took on a life of its own. My dream evolved—I wanted my story to reach a broader audience. I was now writing for all those touched by brain injury: friends and family of survivors, caregivers and medical professionals, the public at large. At some point, we all encounter brain injury survivors who are struggling with their disabilities and with the misconceptions and stigma that surround brain injury. I wanted my writing to change those conceptions and eradicate the stigma.

To do that effectively, I had to improve my writing skills. Limited by my disability, I was not able to attend workshops and conferences. I needed one-on-one sessions. I needed a writing coach. I lucked out and landed an amazing teacher—she set me on the road to growing into the writer I am now, a published author. Along the way, with her guidance, I expanded my repertoire. I’ve written (and continue to write) essays about my life, present and past, my dreams and aspirations, about dragon boating, weaving, and ethnic textile techniques.

Somewhere along the way, writing became a passion, a compulsion.

I write because I have to. If I didn’t write, I’d feel incomplete. There would be a gaping hole inside me.

My writing coach has pointed out (more than once) that, “Writers write.” And while I am driven by a strong sense of purpose in my writing, the reason I sit down at my writing each day is because I am a writer.

And writers write.

Deb Brandon
Deb Brandon
Deb Brandon’s career is an eclectic one to say the least. Born in England, raised there, Israel and Switzerland, she lives in Pittsburgh and is a math professor at Carnegie Mellon University, which is where she earned her PhD. Deb’s a respected textile artist whose book, “Threads Around the World” describes how artisans from 25 diverse cultures create traditional fiber arts using centuries old methods. Deb is also a brain injury survivor who underwent 3 surgeries in as many weeks. She kept a diary, which eventually evolved into a book: “But My Brain Had Other Ideas: A Memoir or Recovery from Brain Surgery.” We cover a lot of ground in this open, honest, life affirming conversation.
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