Friday, October 2, 2015

Why Do You Write?

Today is one of those days where I don’t focus on a particular aspect of writing and more on you.
Hurrah, right?

I’m a writer. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer, too. It’s one of those things where it’s slightly obvious to the two of us (yes, more than one person will look at this post, but it’s a personal post so let’s pretend it’s only you and me, hm?). I write about writing, you read my stuff about writing.
Thus, my dear Watson, it is elementary to conclude that we are both writers, or at the very least you are a stalker of writers. Either way.

I do a lot of writing, even when I’m much too busy for my own good. The last two months, for instance, have been the busiest of my life. What with my senior year starting, college classes (for FREEEE), extracurricular activities (theatre will be theatre), driving younger siblings places, and just being generally busy, it’s hard to find time to write.
However, I’ve managed to squeeze in more than 90,000 words (that is an approximate number, and not including those days were I outlined or scribbled in a notebook instead of working on a blog post or on a document I could actually keep track of words in).
If you think about it, that’s a lot of words. That’s the average length of novel publishers like to see (I’ve found that most like novels 50,000-120,000). It’s spread across blog posts for these past two months and my current novel.

It’s quite a few words, a number I’m very pleased with, all things considered. Lots of time spent in the library clacking away at keys or burrowed in my room where none will ever find me.

But… why?
Why did I write those words?
I could answer that I wrote those words because I’m a writer. That, however, is the obvious answer. The excuse for writing those words. To rephrase the question: why am I a writer?
And now to direct it to you:
Why are YOU a writer?

It’s an interesting question, a complex one. In a way it’s a loaded question, because I’m assuming you are a writer. Let us, however, reference my brilliant deduction at the beginning and remember that we both, in fact, are writers.

Why do you write? Why are you a writer?

As for me, it’s what I like to call my “artistic pursuit”. Just like planning to go to college and major in chemical engineering is my “intellectual fulfillment”, writing completes part of me. I can’t create art in the way most other people can create art. Unlike my siblings, I can’t play any instrument whatsoever. Contrary to the talents of many of my friends, I cannot sing, dance, or draw (unless you count stick figures… I draw a pretty mean stick figure).
I don’t sculpt, make pots, or throw a bucket of paint into a jet engine and see what comes out. None of these things turn out for me.
But that doesn’t make me unartistic.
I can create art. 

My art is simply the art of a story. I tell stories through writing. It is the way I pursue art.
Now, that’s not the only reason I write.

I write because, despite the difficulty of writing, it’s fun. It creates this sense of joy for me when I put words on a paper/computer screen. Even now, I’m getting a thrill typing out the rough draft of this post and refining it.
That, I think, is called passion. Doing something you love simply because you love it.
A shiver down your spine, a smile plastered on your face. Even a furrowed brow at your own mistakes (or at Word when it underlines fragments in green squiggly lines and you don’t care that they’re fragments, they’re part of your artistic vision).

Then, I write to make a difference. Someday, I hope to be published. You know, traditionally published. And I hope people will read whatever it is I publish.
But the thing about people reading what I write, I don’t want that writing to be useless. If all I present to readers is meaningless in the end, what good is it?
That’s not story. That’s not art.
Giving them stories that mean something, stories that will make them think and wonder.
That is why I write.

What about you? Why do you write? Leave a comment and share!

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