Have you ever stopped to think about why we write? What is it that makes someone really WANT to write? Sure, we’re all most certainly creatives. We have artistic, imaginative minds with a longing to create something. Maybe we want to create a deep, rich world that resides somewhere in the depths of our minds and bring it to life for others to share in and appreciate. Maybe we’re passionate about a subject and gain satisfaction in the perfectly articulated point or argument. Maybe we simply enjoy the language and the art of finding the right words, at exactly the right time. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure – of all the ‘arts,’ writing truly is a labor of love.
Think about it. Those that are musically inclined can write music and lyrics, perhaps play an instrument – and gain the immediate satisfaction of being able to hear what they just created. Those who are gifted with a brush or a pencil in their hand can see the impressive, colorful paintings or lifelike sketches. Sculptors can see and touch their creations. For so many artists – and I use that term in its broadest sense – the fruit of their labor can be experienced quickly just by pausing to listen or taking a quick glance. But when you write – you can create worlds just as rich and detailed as the most talented painter, and you can create powerful symphonies like those of famous composers – but there is no instant gratification. You can’t just pause and listen or stop and look. Running your hands across the pages of your favorite book won’t render the details of its contents – like say – running your hands against the sculpted face of Michaelangelo’s David.
So no – we don’t get that immediate thrill or validation. Because our writing, whether it’s a sci-fi thriller, a biography, a news article or a blog post – requires a reader on the other end. And reading takes a lot more effort than just looking or listening or feeling. Reading is also very personal, because our own experiences will dictate how we interpret the words and envision the worlds that the author has created for us. If one thousand people read the same book, undoubtedly there would be one thousand different experiences. And while paintings and songs can certainly be seen and interpreted differently – there is still a sense of black and white, here and now – that is absent in the deep grays of writing.
Which brings me back to my original question… why do we do it? Why do we write? Why have I seemingly had an itch all day that could only be scratched by me sitting down at my desk, coffee at my side, and writing? Sitting here now and typing out these words, not knowing who if any will even see them, still brings me a sense of relief. I’m scratching that itch.
I suppose we’re all products of our environment, victims of circumstance. Maybe some of us were exposed to books at a young age and the love of getting lost in an immersive world has driven us to want to create our own. Maybe we’re more introverted creatures in some ways and prefer to bring the worlds and characters we’ve imagined in our minds to life through the written word. But then again, maybe not. Maybe we’re outgoing – maybe we love meeting new people, networking, connecting, sharing our experiences and unique perspectives. And writing is just another outlet to do just that.
As I sit here trying to answer my own question – why do I write – I looked back into my own experiences, my own upbringing. And you know what? There’s nothing specifically I could call out that would pinpoint why I enjoy writing. I wasn’t a big reader as a child (that came later in life). I needed to be outside, riding my bike, playing sports, staying active. As I got older and deeper into my school years, I developed a love for history. In high school and college, I began reading for pleasure – not because it was assigned coursework. And when extensive research papers and essays began cropping up – while I was a professional procrastinator that waited to the last minute and crammed – I found that I had a knack for it. Dare I say, even enjoyed it.
So, why do I write? I guess the short answer is because I enjoy it! And whenever the fall comes around and there’s a bit of a briskness in the air and leaves start changing – it makes me want to write even more. I’m fortunate to live about ten minutes away from one of my favorite “thinking spots.” This morning I took in some of these views while on a walk – coffee in hand – contemplating life as I like to say.
While on that walk – I asked myself why I write – and thought I’d try to figure it out and answer the question in a new blog post. What about you? Why do you write? What are your favorite thinking spots?
Whatever the reason is – thank you. Thanks for writing and creating and sharing. Because whatever your motivation is – it truly is a labor of love. In a world where everyone is out for instant gratification, it’s good to know that there are those out there willing to put in the work and not just resort to TikTok videos and 140-character tweets. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Enjoy your weekend, all.
3 responses to “Why We Write…”
I actually have no idea why I write. I just do. But I do have a sneaking suspicion that I starting writing because it was the most affordable hobby I could have as a child, lol. Nice post exploring the topic. Thanks for sharing!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I tried to go deep and see if I could figure out what it was for me, but came up empty… I think on some level we all just have that writing gene tucked away somewhere.
I love this article 🥰