Why write?

I’ve only recently remembered that this blog existed. Scrolling through its contents from over a year ago, I can’t help but simultaneously cringe and chuckle at what had occupied my thoughts at the time.

Among these initial reactions is an overwhelming sense of guilt for not having opened a blank document or picked up a pen to write reflectively or creatively in over a year. It’s sad to see that the only thing that I’ve written are drafts of cover letters, papers for school assignments, and responses to essays for applications. What’s happened? Has college sucked away my time and my creative spark?

I suppose there’s no one else to blame for this but me, but it’s gotten me thinking: Why do I write? At one point I wrote for an audience; as a columnist for my school’s newspaper, I documented inane worries and recounted personal stories all for the purpose of hoping others could read my column and relate. For a while I wrote poetry, because initially I thought I could unearth some deeper message about the meaning of life – but now I realize that it was mostly because it sounded pretty. I’ve written about personal experiences for the purpose of wanting to remember them. But what do I write about now that I don’t have to worry about an audience, now that I’m past the point of writing something for the sake of it sounding nice, and now that I want to do more than just recount?

Why do I write?

Because I couldn’t come up with any of my own, I looked to some of my favorite authors for answers.

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” – Roald Dahl

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