Each writer will have his/her reasons.
As for me, I write because I have to. It makes me feel wiser and stronger.
I have said before, that I write because I want to share with people how I see the world and maybe that might be helpful to them, but behind that impulse is the raw desire to write.
As tranquil as writing appears to be, it can be a dangerous affair.
The word and the emotions that go with it, can lead you to places that you may not want to visit. Which is why I keep a personal diary that no one sees, and where I strive to enter thoughts and emotions as raw as they come. I go back to it often, just to see what connections they carry.
There’s a good deal of self forgiving I must do when I read my diary, but I know I need to go there to keep myself honest.
I see a parallel between the dissecting words of a writer and a surgeon’s scalpel, as they carefully explore tissue they may suspect might be covering up something, yet are not quite sure until they get there.
Words and the emotions that come with it can be inventive, as when you discover links you didn’t anticipate before you started, which makes it fun.
Then there’s the satisfaction of completing something. When I’m through with the draft of a piece I always feel lighter. Sometimes, I even have the sense that I’ve learned a thing or two.
Or, I end up nowhere, the void then staring me back and making me feel empty.
But it doesn’t last.
To contrast myself with a biographer, the biographer examines his subject’s mind while I examine my own, the mind being the prism that refracts the light of the world.
Each writer has their unique prism. Prisms can be made richer by the writer’s imagination and life’s experiences.
Hemingway was quoted as saying that a writer should write for himself. I think that’s good advice.
We’re all very different in how much experience we need to then turn it into words. And, of course, we’re all differently gifted. The distinguished Salman Rushdie, recently in the news after having been stabbed, has an enormous facility with words.
Would I be less of a person if I didn’t write?
I think so. I would still strive for competence in whatever job I was doing, as I have many times before, but something would be missing. I would feel less satisfied and less rounded as a human being. And I wouldn’t be able to say, ‘I’m leaving something behind, something that when anyone reads it, would bring me back to life, if only for that moment.’
There’s a writer in all of us. It’s up to us to activate it or not. It’s too tempting to have a mind guide us through life, remind us daily that we are unique, and not feel inclined to put our thoughts down. If only for our own eyes. To start. We get bolder as we move along.
I started this piece on a Sunday afternoon because I needed to write. I had gone to a nearby museum earlier in the day and seen the works of famous artists. They could be very playful with their craft, which I enjoy seeing.
So I asked myself, ‘Why do I write?’
Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts