Why I Write – Cassandra Goff

Art has always been my nature. It surrounds my life. As a child, my grandma taught me how to paint, my mom taught me how to sew and my aunt taught me how to cook. All the women in my life were especially crafty. Everywhere I looked, there was scrapbooking supplies, paintbrushes, cookie sheets, cake pans, sewing needles, thread, fabric; anything crafty, we had it. At a young age, I learned how to express myself through art. Every woman in my family had a craft, I eventually declared mine as writing.

I don’t remember any one instant that really pushed me into writing. It was always something I liked, something I was good at and something that stuck with me. I began to realize the potential in writing in Middle School, after some of my teachers read my work out loud. One certain instance always stands out in my mind. We were assigned to write our own sonnets. I wrote mine quickly, letting the words flow through me and out the lead of my pencil. I was especially proud of my square poem when I turned it in, I had been dipping my toes into the world of poetry and this had been my best work so far. It probably would be classified as dark, but I didn’t fully understand what that was at the time. My teacher decided to read my sonnet out loud. I was pleased and excited when she made the announcement. After the last word I had written sauntered off her lips, I looked around. All of the eyes in the classroom were on me, all of them. To this day, I’m not sure if they were staring at me because it was well-written or because it was especially dark for a young teenager. From that moment, that horrifically tedious moment, I knew that’s where my life would be, in words that created art.

Later in my middle-high school career, I met an amazing man. He had an art for words as well, and we quickly became close friends. We shared work with each other, today we call this peer-reviewing. His specialty was lyrics, mine (at the time) was poetry. The two arts lie hand and hand so it was easy to work together. Some works eventually became a collaborative effort, those became our best works as artists.

Anyway, long story short: about six years a go, a seizure took his life. I knew I couldn’t leave his story untold. I rounded up everything we had worked on together, made sure I had digital and written copies, so I could never loose them and published them wherever I could. At that point, it was MySpace and the high school newspaper. I wasn’t satisfied with that. I began writing his story, from the time I had met him until his untimely death, everything I knew, everything I had experienced with him, I wrote down. For better or for worse, this is what gave my writing career a jumpstart from poetry, to short stories and eventually, everything else writing related.

Writing was never a question for me, never a certain instance that made me decide I wanted to write. It was always a part of me, always flowing through my veins. Writing has always been my art. In a scary, judgmental world, it’s my self-expression, my way of coping. Writing has, and always will be, part of my life.

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