Bringing Writers and Readers Together: Why I Write

2 Min read

Short Take

Creative process

For writers and readers

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST

Spotify

iTunes

*

Maybe the better way to think of this letter is, why you read TreeHouseLetter. For me, it’s about why I write. Which, are two sides of the same coin. I updated my site this year and will have to do so again after this letter. Would love to hear from you.

*

Key Messages for TreeHouseLetter

  1. I believe in always learning with a bit of fun.
  2. I believe in story and music, that the power of words and notes artfully arranged can inform us, transport us, show us what it means to be human.
  3. Learning is more than knowledge; it is founded on how to be a better person.
  4. What do leaders, thinkers, and writers—great humans—have to share? What have I learned from them?
  5. Books have the power to transcend time and place, to connect readers. What makes certain works lasting?
  6. Read and listen to those who inspire us.
  7. Writing is thinking on the page. Beautiful writing is an organized whole of well-crafted parts. Start with a single sentence.
  8. Learn to write, become a better writer and a better thinker. In the process become a better human.
  9. Aim for authenticity. Shed self-indulgence, posing, and pity to brave the stalwart and narrow path to say and write what you know, see, and feel.

Key Messages for My Upcoming Memoir, Raising Athena

  1. I am writing memoir because I believe that the past is not set in stone; that we get to create narratives of who we are.*
  2. I wanted to know what it was that compelled me to join the armed forces and why my daughter did so.
  3. Who are those called to lead in the military and why do they choose this path?
  4. How did I raise my daughter and did that affect her choice to be a warrior?
  5. Who is the modern warrior?
  6. Why should the citizen and the nation know its warriors?

What do I create and why?

  1. I write creative nonfiction, which is true story, factually accurate narrative with all the elements of fiction.
  2. I write the TreeHouseLetter because I love sharing what I’m doing, reading and learning; how leaders, thinkers, writers affect me and change me.
  3. I had been doing for so long I have stopped to reflect. I do and I reflect. As I get older, I read and I reflect.
  4. The creative process of writing and discovery help me understand the path I’ve chosen, the warrior and the leader and the writer.
  5. I read to be inspired, to learn, to escape. Then, I write because I must get it down, the madness in my head, to make sense of my ideas, to organize my thoughts, to discover what I had not known when I started.

Who do I write for?*

An audience of one, in the form of a letter. I think of this person when I write; I imagine you reading this letter. Individuals include:

  • You
  • a friend, the reader and dancer and medical doctor who likes to golf who joins me at the cafe
  • a friend, the florist and former banker who loves to cook
  • a friend, the volleyball mom and sports enthusiast
  • a classmate
  • a mentor, the writer and runner and poll worker
  • a friend, the executive and veteran
  • a neighbor, the dog walker and book lover
  • a Florida friend
  • a reading group friend
  • a friend from my first duty station
  • a friend, the expatriate in China
  • a fellow reader, traveler
  • a fellow alum, student of life
  • an old friend
  • a soldier
  • a veteran
  • a student of writing and of life; a person who wants to write
  • my father, my mother, my brother, my cousin, my children, my nieces and nephews
  • my husband
  • myself

FOOTNOTES

*Dan Blank shared this line nearly verbatim and I love it, agree with it, realize I’m doing it. Listened to his class yesterday on bringing together writers and readers and wrote this letter as an exercise in the key messages behind my own writing.

*Whom do I write for — sounds pretentious versus Who do I write for? And, who is okay, acceptable for informal writing, generally. Or any writing outside academe. Unless it’s for that teacher, maybe your Latin teacher. Since the question when written as a statement, I write for whom, makes it clear that who is the objective pronoun. Brian Garner gives a lot of print space to who/whom and (B) The objective who, as well as the (C) The mistaken nominative whom and more, (D) and (E) and (F), the final for Placement of the Relative Pronoun. See Remote Relatives. (Garner’s Modern English Usage, Fourth Ed. pp 964 to 966)

Sep 9, 2022

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Mylinh Shattan is a writer who has lived on three continents, served in the Army, worked in corporate America, and taught in college. She loves adventures, in the world and in the mind. Literature is relevant and learning is a lifelong pursuit, so you might as well have a bit of fun along the way.

Stay Up to Date

Become a better reader and writer today and try the TreeHouseLetter for free. Always learning with a bit of fun.

Latest Posts

Giving Thanks for Dissent and Cookies

3 Min read True Story On Gratitude and Dissent 1 Cookbook rec AVAILABLE IN PODCAST SPOTIFY APPLE PODCASTS * Giving thanks this time of year is a practice in gratitude. Gratitude is vogue, hip, lit. It's handy and eternal, an ever-ready virtue, making an appearance at...

On Perfect Love and Longing

4 Min read 2 Book recs True story AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify Apple Podcasts E-Bar in SONO's Nordstrom * The espresso and warm froth quicken the senses, which I need for what I'm about to hear. I'm sitting at the E-Bar on a Tuesday with my mother. I like it here and...

All Souls’ Day and the Haunting of 4714

4 Min read True story Paranormal activity, Scott Barracks 1 Book rec * All Souls' Day (NOV 2) is the day to remember the dead, observed by Roman Catholics. It follows All Saints' Day (NOV 1) and All Hallows' Eve (OCT 31 or Halloween) which commemorate the saints, the...

“Kinda This, Kinda That” in the Mid-pack

3 min read Mid-pack running True story 1 Book rec, ancient Toltec wisdom AVAILABLE ON PODCAST On Spotify Apple Podcasts * Mid-life has its miseries. As does adolescence and old age, and while we're on the topic, puppy-dom. My 11 month-old shepherd-boxsky mix Simba is...

What to Say When People Thank You for Your Service

3 Min read True Story from the SMA (The Sergeant Major of the Army) Army Ten-Miler, race in Washington, D.C. with 20,000 runners * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston with West Point cadets * I want to share something I...

We Are All Made of Nouns*

2 Min read Short take 1 Book rec AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect. Anais Nin. In Anna Quindlen's new book, Write for Your Life, she says that people are "made of nouns, live by verbs, and enlarge and...

What Music Teaches Us About Writing

7 Min read The Music in Prose Creative Writing Forum, West Point Sentence rhythm, Beryl Markham and David Foster Wallace Writer's Toolbox, Improve writing immediately * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes I met with the Creative Writing Forum at West Point to discuss...

Topics

Become a better reader and writer today and try the TreeHouseLetter for free. Always learning with a bit of fun.