Why Do We Write?
I never asked myself this question until the annual Clubs Day at school. I was in Writers Club for the last year and it was the last chance for our very small club to pull off something remarkable enough to grab the win. But before that, writing was something that had become completely natural to me. Too natural that I never bothered to ask myself why, as I wouldn’t question the reason I slept, or liked pizzas.
But something happened that day that made me ask myself that question. In our club room we had put up many amazing things to blow the judges away: infusing craft with writing to create a more visual and artistic impression, using our very own music beats to concoct emotions that drive writing and creativity, and on one corner of the wall, Sandra put up a sheet of paper, arranged up and down and side to side with empty sticky notes.
Above the sticky notes she taped a blue ribbon with the words: “What people say about how writing makes them feel.” And when people began to pour in the room, we gave them glitter pens and they filled the sticky notes, telling us how writing makes an impact on them. How it makes them feel. In other words they were answering the question: Why do we write?
It hit me. I never asked myself that before. Writing, above all made me feel like I could believe in myself, when I’m able to write something I never thought I was able to write. And I loved the feeling. But I never thought any deeper than that.
Like to many others, writing helps me voice my emotions and I write when I’m angry and it takes away my anger. I write when I’m sad and it helps me to cherish sadness.
Writing gives us a door to open ourselves up and be true to what we feel and believe. It gives us satisfaction, an escape from the harshness of life and healing. But that all comes in the package.
I guess above all, I write because of passion, love and addiction for it. Doing something I love so much is fulfilling and whether I’m paid to write or not, it won’t change the fact that I just cannot stop writing.
I write most solely because I love it and it’s in my heart and I find no greater reason than that. Everything else is secondary, coming in the package.
It’s not about the rewards or about fame or about the money or publicity or accolades, or the times we hit the bestsellers list. Writers don’t write because of that. Most importantly, we write because that’s what we do. It’s what we can’t live without.
It’s not whether we are published or not, or the size of our audience that drives our writing spirit. True writing spirit is not external, it naturally and initially comes from within us.
Knowing this helps me know how deeply I love what I do. How I continue to love writing more day after day and how important it’s become to me.
You might know how writing makes you feel. Comfort, relief, healing. But what’s behind the package for you? Why do you write?
Share in the comments.
Douglas R, writer.
Douglas R (@douglaswriter), is a writer and aspiring author who enjoys pizza, coconut and composing audio-poems. He blogs about the fullness and spirit of writing and the “heavier things” in Life. Visit his blog:famousmangoes.wordpress.com/ Check out his audio-poem collection: click here.