When we write, we do so for a myriad of reasons that can shift depending on our mood, our environment, events that have happened, or even our time in life.
Sometimes, it is just a bone deep desire that we can neither quantify nor explain. Sometimes we write for a broad spectrum of needs, and sometimes for only one.
So, why do we write?
- To express how we feel.
Writing at its most fundamental level, is a expression of our inner-most feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an extreme horror, or a children’s book. We pour our feelings out onto the pages, and may put ourselves into the mind of a psychopath, a soldier, an abandoned child, or a miss-understood teenager. We use our imagination, or our experience, or both, to live through the eyes of that person for a time.
2. To move people
A writer who can move people is a word magician. As a writer it is our aspiration to make our reader feel. The greatest writers can take readers on a roller-coaster, from the highs of joy or humour, to the lows of the darkest, most desperate, despair.
3. To create
When we write we create, be it another world, or another life, with a rich tapestry of interactions. We can create beauty, and we can create terror. Here we become the master of a universe, an all powerful being with the responsibility of life and death. It is both heady and humbling.
I often think that my characters possess minds of their own, and yet they are the by-product of everything I have seen, done, and experienced, whether through my own reality, or the reverie of others books.
4. To provoke thought
Perhaps the greatest legacy of a book is its ability to provoke thought. Through writing, we may come to question our own lives, behaviour, or even our society. We may also allow our mind to ramble in a non-judgemental way that seeks simply to understand.
5. To forget or escape
Writing, just like reading, is a mechanism of escape. Perhaps you have had a stressful day, and you need to let those issues rest. Perhaps you simply enjoy the vibrant imaginative world that lets you experience a dark, wondrous, or incredible other life.
6. To remember
Finally, we also write to remember, or perhaps more, so that we do not forget. Maybe it is our childhood, a feeling, a time, or a by-gone era.
When we write, we capture moments that are little snapshots of our inner self, and by doing so they are immortalised forever, or at least until the legacy of their electronic presence or paper fades.