Upcoming Event: Poetry reading with Amy Sexauer at the National Veterans Memorial Museum in Ohio

Why I Write

By: Tyler James Carroll

I write because I’m scattered, and writing sorts me out, only until it scatters me again. Into the wind I go, steadfast in a storm, holding on to a rock in the ocean of crashing waves. My beliefs are tested, ran through the dirt, and more, only to survive through the narrative of us.

I’m alone when I write in a world full of others. It feels good to be alone. It feels better to be with others. All the while, I simultaneously cherish and dread when I’m alone and with others. Those moments define who we are. And I love the contradictions.

Without them, those moments, memories, and stories, we’re nothing but a post-it note. We’re useless and empty, yet full of potential, waiting to be remembered and to stick to something or someone.

I write to remember and forget, as there’s so much to remember and forget. I’ve realized I don’t get to choose. So whatever spills out is either a mess, or it’s not. I have to accept that, and through writing, I do.

I’d love to unite the world through nature and experience. I want to feel what’s been felt and see what’s been seen. Explore the discovered to learn lessons learned only to prepare myself for the unknown. I want to connect ideas and us to eternity—past, present, and future. In doing so, remind me how small I am to recognize how significant we are. We can dance in the sky and have the potential to drain oceans. Yet, we’re content to sit on benches and hold hands. But when we’re not, we can take aim and kill anything in our path. Our influence needs to be addressed—our influence on ourselves, on each other, and more.

It’s the weight of that responsibility that keeps me up at night—tossing and turning when I should be resting, dreaming, and making love. And so, I write to rest, dream, and make love after long bouts of sleeplessness, reality, and war.

This desire to write is all self-imposed. Nobody has ever asked, nor will they. To say writing is for anyone else feels like a lie. To say it’s for myself feels insufficient. My efforts feel so trivial, yet so earnest. I want to change the world with the limited ability to change myself. And as much as I wish and think I do, I rarely learn from others. Life would be so much easier, yet so less exciting. I make mistakes, ideally, without intending to. Nor do I intentionally make them to the detriment of others. But, making mistakes creates substance and a story with a pulse. 

And with death around every corner, I write to feel alive.

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Tyler James Carroll is the Co-Founder of Dead Reckoning Collective. Outside of deepening the narrative, he is a husband, father, veteran, firefighter, casual woodworker, and recovering conspiracy theorist. He hasn't publicly shared most of his writings, but you can find his poetry in Fact & Memory and In Love... &War: The Anthology of Poet Warriors.


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