I can say for myself that I am no romantic writer. I do not seem to have the edge to write poems, or rhymes, or coin in some quotes. Nor am I a revolution writer, or a persuasive writer for that mater. But I do have this passion for writing even though for myself to read.
The question is, why do we write? Why do we want to pen down our thoughts? From time immemorial, men have been very keen to write, draw,or sketch. I remember from my ancient history class how men put up some graphics, arbitrary symbols to call it letters, words. Of course, we have come a long way from that. And we merely do not have just symbols to pass on our thoughts. But why do we take this pain? I’m afraid I dont have a sure definite answer, but I do have some thoughts from myself to share. There are practical reasons why we should write, and there are intellectual reasons why we should learn to write.
There are these obvious reasons, like writing for a term paper, for ones thesis or for ones research. A student writing up notes dictated, or straight from the board. These are writing too. But what I am interested is the intellectual aspects as to ‘why write?’ Some of my friends asked of me, “What makes you write?” or “why do you write?” (Now, I do not consider a writer myself.) I guess the answer will follow shortly in the discussion.
“For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I’m surprised where the journey takes me.” Jack Dann
The joy and satisfaction that you get out of letting out your thoughts into a paper is the next best thing you will ever feel. Writing helps you think, to an extent of boundless horizon. You can go to places you never knew existed. You can create a place devoid of all infirmities of this world. You can generate ideas and rise to a more abstract level. Remember, J.R Tolkien, he created a whole new world in his writings. Such are the visions you are promised to reach when you write.
“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” Miguel de Cervantes rightly says. Writing helps one organise ones thoughts. It is the physical realization of what is in our minds. As a human, we have various ideas darting in and out of our mind every second, as I am right now. You might wonder why this topic, as silly as it is. Now you see, had I not jotted these ideas down, would there been a post? With our ideas in words, we are given a time to go through it, ruminate or rather meditate over these thoughts. Cluster and organise it. Would it not help organising ourselves? “Spell it out” we say, meaning that we ought to bring out what is in the mind. I’d say, “write it out”.
Our attitute towards something, say a subject, a topic. How would you feel writing about it. You read it, understand it, study it, feel it, then you write it. There are various issues involved in any topic. Reasons, cause and consequences, pros and cons. You get to know where you stand, for or against. In a way, you gain the knowledge of what it is. This is one obvious reason why I like to write.
I have seen and heard, read some of the writings of many people who wrote of their joys or afflictions. A person bereft of love, struggling through a heartbreak, a loss can produce some great writing. One can write of the joyous experiences with full gleam of the blessed showers. We remember “The Freedom Writers Diary”, about how a teacher and her 150 students used Writing to change themselves and the world around them. “The Diary of Anne Frank”, the struggles of a young girl in the wake of the Nazis.
I used to write whenever I felt intimidated. I wrote when I hated talking. I found solitude in writing. I wrote down my griefs and they to me, turned out to be the best of my writings.<Please do not ask for it, they are very spiritual and personal to me> Now, I write because I can become a better thinker as I write. Because I can tell you what I think, what and how I feel. I write because in this, I can talk without being interupted. I write, because I love to and I enjoy doing it.
I can always look back and gauge how far I have come. I can never forget my roots. The trials and tribulations I have gone through. The happiness I have seen. Now, writing is not only mere jotting down of thoughts and ideas, its ME.
Not everything I write may as well be beneficial to the greater arena of people. But in my writing, there may be a word, a line or two, which may bring in some inspiration to a single soul or maybe two. If there is, I’d settle myself with being satisfied.
I quote from Melinda Haynes, “Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”