Why Write

Why Write?

If you’re asking yourself that question, then the answer is likely: because you’re a writer.

For writers, the act of committing words to paper (or screen) is not a choice but a compulsion that cannot (and should not) be quelled. Writing is how we make sense of our lives by connecting our inner existence with our external world and in this way, allows us some peace of mind as an outlet for the imagination that constantly threatens to burst forth and lay waste to our outer selves.

The writer is a self divided – a person who lives with one foot in the material world and the other in a fantasy world. For the writer, these worlds are inextricable and both must be nurtured for her to thrive.

I have yet to meet a writer who thrives or who feels that she can nurture both halves of herself in a way that is meaningful and healthy. Writers that I know (myself included) struggle to restrict their fantasy worlds so they may focus on their material worlds – the idea being that fantasy, since it is not material, is not real and so should not be prioritized. But for a writer, the ordinary and the fantastic, the real and the imaginary, the material and the abstract all occupy the same space in the mind. The result of ignoring one aspect of the self in favour of another is alienation, existential nausea, and madness. (Just ask any writer…)

So, if you’re asking yourself whether you should prioritize writing, the answer is yes. For a writer, the answer will always already be yes since writing is less a choice than an involuntary action – a bodily function like the inhalation of breath.