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I've always written. A lot of writers say that. After 3 books (soon 4) and 25 years of journalism, it's still not easy and often feels like a power that I stole.

At first, it just meant I could say something easier in words than most of my friends and I got pulled in when someone needed to put together a thank you note, a love letter, a wedding toast, a break up text. Later on, writing for magazines and websites, I had more fun talking to strangers and going places I didn't know. The writing it up was the justification. And the last step.

Writing books opens me to the idea of taking an idea and watching it grow from a seed to a tree, from a brick to a neighborhood. And that you grow as the idea has, learning what words are capable of making true, of grabbing hold of and steering by the wind. Only then did I realize how much writing empowers you to do, to build, to understand. But then you realize what you haven't learned, how much further you can go and that you will never truly get there and that's been the truth of it all along.

Only now, after writing professionally for the better part of 25 years, do I feel it's who I am. It will never be easy and I'll never be as gifted as my heroes and teachers. But I'll keep building neighborhoods, planting trees, and using words like wind to fly my way through them. It's too late to arrive anywhere else, now that I am home.