Why do I write?

by luciditewriting

For someone who loves the craft as much as I do, this is an extremely difficult question to answer. I’ve mulled it over for a couple of days and have come to the conclusion that this difficulty stems from the fact that there are just too many reasons for me to enumerate in a concrete and organized manner (cop out!) — ironically, it’s also difficult for me to articulate some of them in writing (though I will try my best here). Moreover, I’ve realized that some of the reasons why I write are…well… slightly embarrassing. Here they are, for better or for worse.

1. Seeing my own voice on the page brings clarity. Yes, it may sound egomaniacal (or worse”self-helpy”), but visualizing my words gives me a new perspective on what goes on in my mind. In addition to revealing thoughts and memories I didn’t know (or had forgotten) I had, writing helps me to organize them and make them relevant.

2. Writing is the best gift I know how to give. Writing allows me to commemorate and honor those around me, whether through personal essays, creative nonfiction, or my rare forays into fiction. I also hope that the academic writing I’ve published is useful to a handful of scholars out there (or will be someday).

3. It challenges me like no other activity or occupation. Yes, the most agonizing aspect of writing (pushing oneself to explore new phrasings, genres, languages, lexicons) is also the most fulfilling.

4. It is my portal. There are times when I feel like writing is the way I connect best with people near and far. When I write, my truest self emerges. This is the person I want the world to read and know.

5. It’s something (hopefully meaningful) that I can leave behind. Not that I ever imagine I’ll become famous for my writing, but I like thinking that after I am gone my words will live on and reveal insights or provoke reactions for future readers, thinkers and writers.