I want to spill ink onto pages that will break your heart, then mop up the careless mess into words that might fix you.
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.
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 other’s 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.
Why do you write?
I do not want to just read books;
I want to climb inside them and live there.
Once I dive into these pages
I may not come out for ages.
Books have powers over me.
Inside a book I am not free.
I am a prisoner in a land
of print on paper in my hand.
But do not worry. Do not fear.
I am a happy captive here.
Captive by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
― Anne Lamott,
Some wonderful quotes 🙂
Only a true author will realise the sheer terror of the slight pause that follows the words:
“So, I read your book…”