Christopher Hitchens once said of writing, “It must not be the thing you would like to do, but it must be the thing you feel that you have to do. It must be that without which you could not live.” This quote sums up why I write.
For as long as I can remember I have needed to tell stories. Before I could write, I would tell stories to my mom through my toys. A few years later, I started writing stories set in the world of the video games I played and the movies I watched. Telling stories and writing was in my very marrow, and the path I believe I was always meant to take.
Another possible motivation could stem from my schooldays. As a child growing up in England I found school difficult. I was extremely introverted. Dealing with the other children, and even the educators, was a struggle for me. Therefore, I was not the most popular child. Even as a teenager, I was more interested in my writing than attempting to follow my peers’ taste in clothing or trailing the crowd to the local pub. I would ask myself, “Why? Why am I so different?” In time I would come to believe the reason for my individuality was because I was meant for something different—I was meant to be a writer.
When you listen to an interview with a person of some artistic renown, he or she hardly ever describes himself or herself as having the perfect childhood. They were never the jock or the popular one; they were the ones who experienced a struggle. It is my belief that the person who led the hardest or the most unremarkable of childhoods (the outcasts) grows up to lead the most interesting of lives. Of course it could be wishful thinking, but this is the idea that I hang onto as I strive to make my needs and my dreams a reality.
Growing up and discovering the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, and Oscar Wilde gave, and still gives, me pleasure. In addition, the storytelling of Orson Welles and Rod Serling only served to turn my need to write into a love and then an addiction. I would like nothing more than to give others a similar pleasure, and inspire at least one person the way those great artists inspired me.
So, why do I write? For me, writing is innate. It was one of the things that made me different during my school days and the thing that has gotten me through hard times. It is the love of my life and my entertainment—it is my gateway to immortality—the thing I leave behind in hopes to inspire others. But above all, it is who I am, and I cannot help writing because I cannot help being myself.