I want to know why you write.
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
My last year of college was spent trying to answer that question. Actually, it was more of what kind of writer I was; what was my voice? It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I have no clue, to any of the questions posed to me back then, and I wouldn’t until I realized why I even bothered.
Maybe it all is relative, maybe not. I’ve just become adept at skirting the issue. But I posed this project for a reason. So here I am, at prompt #8, and faced with a question that has been asked so many times that I forget who asked it first.
Why do I write? I don’t know. It could be a by-product of my childhood; a means of an escape for the traumatic memories and uncontrollable emotions. Broken homes, self-hatred, sexuality, they all make for a good story, and I have stories to tell. So perhaps, in a failed attempt to avoid bourgeoisie predications, that is the reason I write. I have stories to tell. Nonetheless, I know three professors who would call bullshit on my lame attempt to settle an issue that has long plagued my half-heartened attempts at a field that I find myself returning to time and time again.
I could give some emotional plea to save my soul. I write to die. I write to live. I write because there is not enough room in my head for words to exist quietly. You always protest when there isn’t enough room, so why wouldn’t my own words rebel in a space that confines their purpose. These explanations, however, would satisfy the style of genre that I tend to write within (Non-fiction creative writing). I have an unfailing love for the ironic theme, and I quite enjoy a melodramatic stylization.
Maybe it is a lack of voice. I’m described as a strong person, but realistically speaking, I am weak, timid, and need to work on my bite. So I turn to writing, to find the voice of the person that should exist in my stead. Strong, foolhardy, ready for adventure and excitement; not timid, tired, and sad. Does that define my voice, thus defining my writing? Or does it seem to be all irrelevant to the fact that I still don’t have any answers. Can someone have an indefinable voice? I have been led to believe that that concept is wholly impossible. It isn’t the voice, but the owner, that is the problem. I don’t care enough to join the rhetoric, but I am unable to leave the discussion fully.
So after spewing words like the best politician, I still haven’t answered the question. I don’t have a reason for writing; I just have stories. I put them down because words come as easy to me as breathing, and yet are difficult all the same; hence my need for an inhaler. Bouts of writing leave me awake at 6am, unable to sleep because my dreams are too loud. I write because I have the excuses to write.
I write because I have a vivid imagination. I write because I have something to say, whether it be politically, on religion, or a social commentary.
I write so I don’t slit my wrists.
I write for attention.
I write in hopes of making a difference.
I write for the excitement of new words.
I write for the opportunity to perform.
I write to air out grievances.
I write to bury my past, and uncover my future.
But in the end it simply comes down to this:
I am a writer, henceforth, I write.