this article by Ed Hirsch: Follow Your Passion: Living Your Life's Purpose
I started writing poetry as a teenager in suburban Chicago out of emotional desperation. . .I grew up in a middle-class house without books, without art. No one around me wrote poetry or even read it. Even my teachers seemed indifferent to it. The sole literary presence from my childhood was my grandfather, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia, who eccentrically copied poems into the backs of his books. . .
Even though I was on my own, I felt less lonely because I was carrying on something that my grandfather had almost willed to me. I wanted to live up to that inadvertent gift, to use it to make contact with others. I decided to become a poet.
I'm always interested in learning how people come to their art. And I'm never too surprised to find that in many cases, it's a matter of using art to cope with something, in this case, he grandfather's dead and wanting to carry on his legacy.
I also love that he wanted to connect with others because I think that need is deep within all of us. Connection.
Again I'm reminded, Art Saves Lives.