Why do I write? That’s a pretty meta question to write about. Well, I used to think writing was an artistic outlet. I quickly realized, as many before me have said, that it was actually a need, a coping mechanism. That writing though, that’s the one only I see, because only I would understand the gibberish that comes out of need. Selfishly, it makes me feel less alone. It’s like the screen has to listen to me read the words I am typing in my head. But I don’t think that’s what people want to know.
When people ask why you write, they really want to know why they should read whatever you wrote. What was your intention when letting other people into your little messed up head? That’s how I perceive it anyway, because the need itself is fulfilled by putting words on paper. So why bother publishing or trying to get any kind of exposure? Just write a journal for yourself and call it done.
I believe the questioning really relates to the intention of being read. What have you got to say and why do you want people to pay attention?
The answer is actually pretty simple (for me anyway). It’s because I want people to think, to talk, to engage. I want to make people uncomfortable. I want my book to serve as a talking springboard from which people can engage in deeply personal conversations with their loved ones when society might not usually give them a safe space to do so.
Too often, I find we don’t talk about our most vulnerable parts. We engage in unhealthy, competitive relationships with the people around us, through social media and assumptions. That deeply saddens me.
So I write, to practice what I preach. I try to write my truest, most raw self, expose all that’s ugly, pretty, soft, hard or fluid about myself, in an attempt to welcome vulnerability as a strength. Sharing isn’t caring; sharing is needed.
I fear that if we don’t start actually investigating our true selves, with all our flaws and contradictions, this world will truly be screwed. I want to hear about your asexuality in a sexualised world, your want for traditionalism amidst the rise of non-conventionalism, your feminist need to fuck as many people as possible in your lifetime, whatever your story may be. I know very well everyone faces their own contradictions in the too-oft silent confines of their souls, and I want to change that. So I start with myself. (And yes, writing a memoir is also a cheap but brutal form of therapy.)
I write to feel, and to keep my heart open. I write for those tempted to close their hearts, so that if they fall upon my words, maybe they’ll be the stop needed to keep the door ajar.
When the task of writing grows inevitably arduous—and seemingly thankless—we must remember why we started. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write,” this introspective project highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation. Live events are produced throughout the diverse cities of Orange County and feature author readings from curated essay submissions.
- Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
- Submit via Submittable.
The 1888 Podcast Network is a curated collection of educational and entertaining podcasts. Each program is designed to provide a unique platform for industry innovators to share stories about art, literature, music, history, science, or technology.