Why do writers write? That’s a question that has been asked many times before. For fame and fortune maybe? Or is it because we fail to communicate properly with each other in our day-to-day encounters that we feel the need to communicate our thoughts and feelings through writing? There are, no doubt, as many reasons why people want to become writers as there are people wanting to become writers.
For myself, I write for one reason: Writing is the best medium through which I can share my experience of the world. (That sounds a bit pompous maybe, but I can’t help how I feel). There are so many layers to experience that normal, everyday modes of communication, even when done properly, fail to communicate the sheer depth of our encounter with the world and others. In fact, while we live in our everyday minds structured by our everyday language, much of the more profound aspects of our experience remains hidden from us.
A great deal of today’s popular writing is not designed to share such depth. A lot of what we read has been written for entertainment. Having the urge to tell a good story, to entertain and to give pleasure through words, is probably the main reason why most people write. And if fame and fortune comes with that, all the better. As I write this I realise, unfortunately, that this is not me. I want my writing to be pleasing but not because I want to entertain. I want my writing to accurately portray the depth of everyday experience, in the best possible way.
Just as all roads lead to anywhere in the world, not just to Rome, every experience is interconnected with all other experiences, past present and future. An encounter with a daisy for example, includes within it all other encounters with daisies. It includes our botanical understanding of the daisy. It includes all the poetry written about the flower, the artwork, the history, the symbolism… We know that our experience of a daisy has been shared my millions of other people throughout history: poets, politicians and postmen.
Words are the same. We gather them like bouquets of wildflowers to be shared. Taking your time to discover why it is you write will help you decide what you want to do with your bouquet. Have you created it to bring happiness, to entertain, or have you created it to show, in some small way, just how special and amazing our experience of the world can be?