For most of the afternoon, #WhyIWrite has been trending. Lately, I’ve unfortunately been busier with the other things that entail being a writer in the modern-day – things other than writing. But I stopped for a brief moment to look at why others write.
From Orwell – whose initial essay is the reason for this trend – to the many brave souls I know personally and digitally who write for a living, for a hobby, and for both, I have been reflecting. People write for many of the same reasons; people write for different reasons.
I stopped and though for a second: Why do I write? Why did I choose this? Or did this choose me? It sounds really corny but my life seems to have pointed in the latter direction. But I also know I tend to give things meaning because I need meaning.
From a girl who seemed a sure thing to go into many things – from law to business – I often tell people in a self-deprecating manner that I sort of fell into writing; that I became a writer because I “failed at everything else.” It’s only half-true.
So I’ve been thinking about why I write today and although 140 characters can summarise it, it doesn’t really get to the heart of it. So as I sit in the bar that I’ve been working out of for most of the day, and contemplate why I write and why I want to keep writing, here’s what I’ve come up with tonight:
(i) I have a voice – a voice that I think speaks for so many who often feel invisible and underrepresented in the world. I think people who know what it’s like to feel different and who don’t know how to quite articulate it, connect with me the best.
(ii) I have a duty – I believe that each human being has a responsibility to other human beings. I have a special love for human beings who often go unheard, whose voices often get drowned by those who are loudest. And to these humans, I believe that my life has taken me to a place where I can advocate for them; for us. Never to speak for people – but to speak alongside them.
(iii) I believe in the power of words – I believe that work must be in the service of mankind. I believe that God gives people certain talents and experiences in order to fulfill, or achieve, or touch the human heart. And in the end, even if I’m only starting out as a writer, I believe that words have the power to change both you and I.
I write because I believe this is part of my vocation. I write because I have so much to learn in the world and with the world. I write to hear my voice and to hear the voices of others. I write to fill a void; to fill many voids. I write for release, I write to find a purpose, and I write because I can – because I must.
Because if I don’t write, who can I demand tell the stories that I want to hear – stories that the world needs to hear? I write because it is my joy, my pain, my fear, and my hope.
I write because it is my destiny.