Sometimes I ask myself this question: why do I write? Why do I feel the need to get out a paper and pen, or sit in front of my Mac, writing out whatever comes to mind? Why do I feel the need to create people, places, events and moments in the lives in the people who only exist in my mind? Why must I tell stories?
Is it because I haven’t outgrown a childhood stage where one lives in an imaginary world? Is it because I am addicted to daydreaming?
Or is it because I’m looking for an identity in this world? As in: I write, therefore I am.
Is it because elementary school teachers encouraged me to write, create my little worlds and tell stories about them? Did that praise at such an early age stay with me as I navigated through the hellish world of adolescence, where the need for self-esteem is so desperate? I mean, did I cling to my writing ability because it was the one identity that I had while growing up?
Perhaps yes, perhaps not. Now that I am (almost) 30 years old, I’m no longer a child who has a need to play make believe because its fun. I also am happier with my life now, and happier with myself than I was as a teenager (can you believe it was almost half a lifetime ago?) that I don’t need to call myself a writer for the sake of my self-esteem. I have other qualities that matter, thankfully.
But yet, I still feel the need to escape into a fantasy world and wonder what would it be like if XYZ happened. I also still feel the need to use words and play with them in order to communicate. I have no other way to express myself but through words. I can’t dance very well, I have a lousy singing voice, and I am not a natural painter. So writing is it for me.
Maybe its because my brain can only function with words. I mean, ever since elementary school, I was horrible at math – just plain horrible! I flunked every math test I ever took, and only passed math class out the mercy of my teachers. You should’ve seen my SAT scores in that subject; I think 90 percent of American high school juniors in 1999 did better than me.
So, maybe because my brain could not figure out numbers at all, it made up for that poor ability with language arts. In other words, with math out of the way, I had more space in my head to write and create worlds.
That’s a theory, in the biological sense. Maybe there are other biological reasons as to why I get a high when I am working on a story that had finally come together, or feel so happy just by writing alone. Even blogging as I am now, I feel so at home and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Maybe that’s the answer to the question: I can’t imagine doing anything else. Really, for whatever reason, I can’t stop writing and don’t want to.
Some writers like to answer “Why do I write?” by simply saying: “Because I can’t NOT write.”
Yeah, that just about sums it up for me. 🙂