Abi Wurdeman is the author of Cross-Section of a Human Heart: A Memoir of Early Adulthood. She also writes for film and television with her brother and writing partner, Phil Wurdeman. Together, they've written for The Loud House on Nickelodeon, Firsts on Amazon, and a handful of other projects. Their work has won at the Austin Film Festival and advanced in several other competitions, including the Disney/ABC Fellowship, Slamdance, Big Break, Humanitas New Voices, and Script Pipeline.
Sometimes Abi likes to get poetic. You can find her poetry stamped into a Santa Clarita sidewalk.
As a human being, Abi enjoys hiking alpine trails, texting her mother for gardening tips, and long conversations with kind and insightful people. Abi does not enjoy paintball, arrogance, or the sound of metal scraping metal.
You can keep up with her on Instagram, Facebook, and through her newsletter.
Why I Write
First, the down-to-earth answer.
I write because I'm good at it and I think it's fun. Even when it's hard, it's hard in a good way. So in the interest of not putting on airs, I'll say that this is the thing I naturally love, and that's why I do it in the first place.
Now, here's why I keep writing when I'm tired or discouraged or don't feel like it.
Communication is hard. Even though expressing our thoughts, opinions, and fears seems easy in principle, it's not easy in practice.
We're afraid other people won't understand how we feel… that they'll think less of us or misunderstand our meaning or judge our decisions. So we keep our anxious traps shut. Or we try to express ourselves using a million qualifiers so we don't look too weak, angry, or stupid.
"I'm afraid of failing" becomes "I just don't feel like doing this."
"I love you" becomes "It's cool if you want to hang out."
And so it becomes harder to connect, harder to share, harder to know and be known.
This is where stories come in.
A story—whether it's fiction or nonfiction—does not hold back. It contains no qualifiers. When an author or screenwriter shares their story with you, they're showing you their experience of the world, even if the story isn't about them personally. They're explaining what love means to them, what jealousy feels like, how curiosity grows. They're offering the safest, most accessible form of communication that exists, essentially saying, "We don't have to make eye contact or talk about our deepest, darkest secrets. We can even pretend we're talking about made-up characters who live in a made-up place and feel made-up feelings. But all the while, you'll know that this is how I see the world. And if you connect with it, you'll know you're not alone."
In fact, storytelling is proof that we can connect with an experience even if we can't relate to it. Some of the most formative books I've ever read were about characters whose lives looked nothing like my own. But because they were written honestly, I could see myself in a stranger. This, incidentally, is why I think it's so important for us to read authors of diverse backgrounds.
As a writer, my goal is to keep you entertained. I want you to laugh sometimes, feel a spectrum of emotions, maybe even cry if I play my cards right. But above all, my greatest goal is to tell you—through my stories—that you are not alone in your humanity.
And that humanity is just as awkward for me as it is for you.
That's why I write.