Why We Write

I posed this idea recently to a group of writer friends on a Zoom meeting: what exactly is it about writing that captivates us? Why do we feel the desire or the need to write? I’ll tell you now there is a joy I feel when I write or even talk about writing or have anything to do with writing that is like no other. It is without a doubt the one thing in this life, next to motherhood, that ignites delight deep within me. Call it an intrinsic interest or something passed on to me cosmically that I could never explain, but the sublime gift of writing is one of the things that makes my life full.

My friends on the Zoom had varying answers. A new pursuit. A realisation that the craft of writing is an art form, and artists might pursue anything which makes all of their art more informed. The idea that we are all writers, because we have something to say to the world, and writing gets it out there.

So why do I write? I’m chasing that thrill I get when I write a scene that feels good even if it’s poorly written when I read it back later. I’m eager for the conversation of solidarity and revelation that comes when people contact me about something they’ve read of mine that resonates with them. A lot of what’s been published of mine is personal, so when those interchanges with people happen, my experiences and perspectives are validated. Writing, in essence, is a way to be affirmed even though exposing myself can feel brutal at first. The wait to know if what I’ve written makes sense to any one else is like satisfying an itch to me. Even if I get zero feedback or interaction, knowing I’ve put something out there that I’ve come to terms with makes me feel brave.

Tell me, why do you write?

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