For me, it’s simple; I have to write. It is a way to discover meaning. A release. It is an addiction to the beauty of words.
When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be both a doctor and an author. I was the child who would make up intricate, dramatic stories in the hope that classmates would adopt me as their friend. I grew up devouring words. At 11 I was introduced to local writing competitions by a teacher, and I even won a couple. People liked what I had to say! In year 9, I became a judge for a teen literary awards program and I loved it. A year later, during a goal setting exercise at school, I declared to my teacher that I was going to finish a book before I was out of high school. He thought I was mad. I think I was mad. Then, school became serious and I stopped writing. I still have that 30,000 word ‘novel’ somewhere.
At the beginning of this year I was accepted as a first year blogger for unimelb, however the day before we were meant to meet I was hit hard by a wave of depression. Unable to express that I was unable to make it out of bed, and partly fuelled by anxiety about not being good enough for the ‘position’, I decided to drop out. And that’s why I first created this blog here. Last semester, I also took a creative writing subject which helped open my eyes up again. My grades weren’t fantastic and I still can’t believe the horrible poem I handed in (I’ve destroyed all evidence so don’t even ask). It was my fellow students who inspire me to keep honing my craft, especially because as a science student, I rarely get to express my own opinion, something that I feel is extremely important. Below is a list I have created of the four main reasons that I write.
Four Reasons Why I Write
1. To feel alive
And in the moment. To be able to admire the beauty of the frost that appears on my front lawn on crisp winter mornings. To explain how the warmth of a cup of coffee spreads from my fingers to my hands and the way it’s bitter smell brings me clarity and comfort. I write to get in touch with my creativity and to make art of the everyday.
2. To discover meaning
By grabbing hold of the stray thoughts and combining them, I can create a map of what is on the inside and then work on understanding it. I can connect dots and come up with ideas that I didn’t know I was capable of.
3. To survive
I can disappear into words, all the while forgetting where I am and what’s on my mind. Writing is like therapy, because it involves spilling out words that are too difficult to say aloud.
4. To help
To reach out to other people in the hopes that I will be able to connect with them in some way. I write so that I can make people feel things; happy or sad, hopeful, understood.
Why do you write, or if you don’t, why not? Did you ever keep a journal or are you fond of writing essays? For those who want to be published in some way, what is it that motivates you? I’d love to hear.