On Why I Write

Writing is not fun. Going to meet friends is fun; having fun is fun; writing, on the whole, is not. It is a tortured process: the painstaking construction of word after word, in pursuit of the Holy Grail – the sentence that reads well. Why then, write? This is the writer’s riddle.


we write to taste life twice

Put simply, writers feel the urge to write. This is a difficult concept to explain to those that do not write. It is a calling from deep within – the desire, no need, to put pen to paper. For some the need is as basic as sleeping or eating. Writing cannot be produced on command. One is subject to the whims of our Muse – when she fancies she may effect free flowing prose; or just as easily condemn you to the hell of an empty mind and a blank page.

Writing is a perfect example of the psychology of mind. Beginning is daunting. Along the way the pitfalls of self-disgust, depression, and a lingering sense of inadequacy loom large. All to fleetingly one may encounter an episode of quiet self-congratulation as a particular sentence is nailed – only to be replaced the follow morning as you realise just how bad it really sounds. Writing is fraught with anguish like no other – the lonely anguish of knowing that you will never get it quite right.

A writer writes not because he is educated or because he is good at writing; but because he is driven by the need to communicate. And behind the need to communicate is the need to share. And behind the need to share is the need to make sense of the world and his place within it; to understand and be understood.

The ability to create something out of nothing; to not just express my feelings but to make others feel the same; to turn of the box and turn on my mind; to release my intellectual restlessness against the compartmentalised state of our lives today; to not get cosy; to drive forth every ounce of my being towards the words on my page; to feel alive; to create something out of nothing.

This is why I write.

Courtesy of Rajiv Mehta (@Mehtaphysical)


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