- …because I’m good at it.
I’m not good at a lot of things: I can’t draw, for example, or paint, or make things, and I’m not great at Maths or Science. I can’t speak any other languages beside English and GCSE level German, I can’t play an instrument and I can’t do perfect make-up…but I can write. I can take words and fashion them into what I hope are half-decent sentences, and I can order them so that they have meaning. Sometimes it’s hard – really hard in fact – and I hate every single word that I painstakingly pour onto the page. But other times I read back my writing and think to myself ‘this isn’t half bad’. I never think it’s perfect (I don’t believe any writer ever does) but sometimes I think it’s OK, and that’s when all the hard work seems worth it.
- …to create.
I’m a strong believer that everyone should have some form of creative expression in their life, and seen as I’m not very artistic or musically talented, writing is my chosen form.
To me there’s just something so fulfilling about having created something, and having created something that only you could create (if that makes sense?). No two writers will write the exact same piece of writing, even if set the same task or exercise, and that’s because it’s an expression of the self, and no two people are alike.
- …to communicate.
As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, I’m quite shy, so it’s fair to say that verbal communication isn’t my strong suit. In conversations I often feel as if I don’t have enough time to think about what I want to say next, so I usually end up saying something stupid or boring (and then have to mentally beat myself up for hours afterwards!). Writing, however, offers a form of communication that gives you time to think and put into words what you mean, instead of it coming out garbled.
Yes, this does mean that writing is a constructed form of communication, in that it has been crafted by the writer, but that doesn’t make it any less authentic. In fact in many ways I think it makes it more authentic. Writing is a form of communication removed from social inhibitions and conventions and so can often be a truer expression of the self (even if what you’re writing is fictional).
- …to escape.
Much like reading, writing can be a form of escapism. You can say anything, be anyone, go anywhere (even places that don’t exist), create worlds, destroy them, fall in love, break up, travel the world, or even the galaxy…the possibilities are literally endless. As long as you can imagine it, it can happen.
And whilst my life is far from terrible, sometimes it can be nice just to slip into a world of your own making, and the great thing is, you can take your readers along for the journey as well. It’s basically like translating your daydreams onto paper!
- …because it’s cathartic.
No one is 100% happy all the time, and we all have negative thoughts and feelings sometimes. In this way writing can be immensely helpful as a way to get out these bad feelings. Whether you transform them into a chilling horror novel, or simply scribble them as they are in a journal, writing can be a pretty effective form of therapy!
- …because I love it!
Why do anything with your spare time that you don’t enjoy? I can’t always say that I feel like writing – there are days when I just can’t be bothered, or try and can barely squeeze a single word out of my brain – but at the end of the day I always return to it. I can’t imagine a life where I don’t write, even if I never get published and no one else ever reads it. I write principally for the love of it, and I think that’s a good a reason as any to do it!
So why do you write?