From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.
George Orwell Why I Write
So, I’m tripping through the internet. It’s early in the morning. I slept badly last night with the start of an illness which wasn’t an illness, or the start of one. It was the continuation of my life; the fear that I had reached a natural cul-de-sac.
So I wake up this morning, not full of the joys of my existence but full of its abject woes. There is nowhere else to go and nothing to try and no way of getting out of this sack.
Still, I turn to writing. I have nothing to say, but wish for somebody to hear me. Yet, I am wondering why I possibly, ever realistically, thought that I could write.
So, I get onto the trusty Apple and launch myself into the untrusty world of the internet.
My only armour is my question, why do I write?
Like lots of writers, I write because I believe that I need to write. I write because I have a need to say something. I write because it is a task and a challenge. I write because the world has brought me to a place where my only dream springs from my only nightmare; I cannot write.
So when I am on the great plain of knowledge, and I search for reasons as to why I write, I come across Orwell and realise just how good and dedicated one must be to reach that goal of becoming a writer.
And a number of advertisements raise their heads and see me coming:
- New Authors Wanted
- Publish Your Own Book
- Book Submissions
- Looking For A Publisher
The list is endless…
So, I am here and now, there and then, where and why?
Why do I write?
I want to be read.
They write for different reasons:
“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
“Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed.” – Zadie Smith
“I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.” – Cormac McCarthy
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor
“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee
“Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.” – Gao Xingjian