On Why I Write

why i write

I once wrote an account of the feelings I experienced upon confirming that I was indeed pregnant. I related how in the days leading up to taking the test I convinced myself that if I were ‘gravid’ as a doctor friend termed it, I would make use of the legally available TOP services, and indeed I thanked God that I lived in a country where this was an option. I told how on taking the test and confirming what I’d been suspecting for about two weeks, I felt overjoyed, excited and yes, blessed, which was not at all how I’d been expecting to feel, and how, from that point on I began thanking God for my fertility and good health and not least for the fact that I had a job and somewhere to live. I put the post up on my blog and one of my girlfriends said via email: how brave of you to put your story out there like that.

I don’t only write because I want to put myself out there, although I do believe that every writer is somewhat of an attention-junkie no matter how loudly they proclaim otherwise. It’s true though: I write because words turn me on in so many different ways, because my words are like my babies and I’m proud of them and I want the rest of you to be turned on by my words as I have been turned on by the words of others. It’s sheer egoism and there is no shame in it – all writers, all creatives in fact, are to some degree looking for that affirmation.

I write because I have all sorts of crazy going on in my head and if I don’t get it out I will, I am certain, go certifiably insane: the feelings people, the feelings. I write to express whatever it is that is choking me, strangling me from the inside, the words crowding my brain and making me feel like I daren’t do anything else until I’ve got them out of my mind and onto paper or more commonly these days, onto OneNote. I write to stay alive. I write to express what I feel, what I desire, and yes, even what I fear.

I write because I want to connect with people, because I have a story to tell that I think someone needs to hear so that they can know that they are not alone in whatever they’re going through. Other writers have given me comfort and succour when I needed it, have been my friends when I was lonely and alone, have helped me chart my path when I felt lost, have fed me when I was soul-hungry, have helped me make sense of this increasingly nonsensical world. I write because I want to share my way of looking at the world, because there is more than one way and this way might be just the perspective somebody needs to move from where they are to where they want to be. I write because we’re all looking for something, perhaps someone, and writing I like to think helps me help others as others’ writing has helped me. And so, I write.

I write because I want to be heard but more than that, 
because I want to be understood. 
I write because I have things to say not just to all the people who will somehow find their way here, 
but to you with whom I rendezvous in those still hours 
when the day is still becoming itself, 
when it's not even a day yet but still 
the night before. 
I write to share my heart and my 
mind with you, 
because sometimes, not often, we meet people with whom we want to 
walk the road less traveled; 
because I want you to understand not just my state of mind but also my state of heart; 
because I want you to hear the thumps my 
heart makes in the darkness and listen to the spaces between my breaths. 
I write because I have fears that need to be 
conquered and joys that need to be celebrated; 
without words flowing between us how else would you know these 
things? 
I write because I have questions and answers, 
because you have questions and answers, and words are a lovely 
form of exchange. 
I write because being with you under the lunar rainbow grows 
all sorts of things in all sorts of places;
 because I want to be with you 
under the solar moon and see what grows from that. 
I write because I'm not supposed to say 
these things even though these things need to be said.
 And so, I write.
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