Why I Write

Letters & Essays /

christopher troy why I write

For two years I wandered. First across the country by train, then up and down the Pacific Coast, and finally across the Atlantic back to Europe, where my adventure began nearly 20 years ago. The unstructured days of my new life gave me the freedom I was searching for, the freedom to slow my pace and focus my thoughts on the people and places that brought me to this point in my life. I gave my past the time to catch up with my present. And I thought: The past is just a goodbye unless it’s redeemed by words on paper, a figment of my imagination unless my imagination makes it real and permanent, makes it impossible to say goodbye. I began to write.

– Christopher Troy


Criticism is an act of love. Share your thoughts with me below.

5 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. I have only at begun to dive into your writing, and I love what I have read thus far. I am intrigued by ” criticism is an act of love” can you say more about that thought stream? I’ve pondered it and have some thoughts of my own, but would love to know how that thought arises in you and the deeper intention behind the phrase. Thank you,

    1. Marianna-Louise – Let’s begin where most people fail to ever arrive…the act of criticism, an act which I, and certainly many others, see as nothing less than an act of love. A somewhat brief parenthesis: (for those others it may be considered love only if robed in constructive words; that is to say words that build—the ego—rather than tear down. I am not of that tender opinion).
      The first step in this act of love, as in any expression of love, is the granting of time. In this case, the time to read, absorb, ponder the words, their meaning, and their effect on us…Time the most precious of commodities, one that cannot be traded or taken back but certainly and all too often wasted because falsely believed to be free when considered to be in abundance. Today you gave me your time. And for this I thank you. I can expound on this idea of criticism as an act of love, but I’ll hold back until you grant me permission to carry on because I wouldn’t want to waste your time…

      1. Please expound, bless me with your sharing of your time, here on this page. Already I see the way that the sharing of time and thought is indeed a form of love. I look forward to hearing more from you. Your eloquence is delightful.

  2. Ah – The Old Man And The Sea. I have read that book on more than one occasion; each time taking something new away from the text. Just today there was another interesting article- Men We Wish We Were More Like, and Mr. Hemingway was the featured man. I can maybe sense some of his influences in your writing. 👏🏻

    1. If there is one writer whose way of life and style of writing I identify with, whose soul I feel found its way into a part of mine, it is Ernest Hemingway. An imperfect writer and an even more imperfect man, but one who lived life like the bullfighters he wrote about, one who took its deep complexities and distilled them to their naked essence with rousing effects much like the alcohol he loved to drink.

      William Faulkner said of him that he had no courage, that he had “never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary.” Hemingway’s response: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

      I discovered Hemingway late in life—only last year in truth—but plan to carry him with me for the rest of my writing days. So to have you notice the subtle detail in the photograph, which was taken without my knowledge but shared explicitly, and to make the comparison is a compliment that does more to lift my spirit than inflate my ego.

      I thank you kindly.

Comments are closed.