Why Do I Write?

Why do I write?

The question was asked in a conversation going on in my head.  I had to stop and think past the pat answer, like enjoyment, or just being able to creatively express myself. 

My head conversation continued:

But really, why do I write, Jeff?

Honestly, I don’t know.  Me, myself and I have often discussed this.

That’s not an answer, Jeff.  There has to be something, something inside or out, that brings you back again, and again, to fill an empty page with words.

Right now, I really don’t know.  Sometimes writing seems like a preordained calling from high above, one that cannot be disobeyed. 

Other times, it’s a good feeling to write, but that’s a feeling. Feelings can be so feeble, so fleeting, and they can move depending on the wind’s direction. 

Then that’s not all of what I believe writing is then, is it Jeff?

No, me, but part of it’s fun.  It’s building a simple shanty, a family home, or even a gorgeous mansion, word by word.  Ideas are the architect.  Punctuation marks are the nails. Grammar insulates the walls, and thoughts brick the exterior with meaning, both obvious and hidden.  

Maybe it’s the energy, the electrical system that brings light and power to writing. Yet troubles, problems, ordinary aches of the day flush through the plumbing leaving both writer and reader freer of the toxic septic of the day. 

Maybe. 

But still I ask, why? 

Maybe it’s just a way to imagine a “goober snatcher” that came from a distant star to travel along as a child’s make-believe friend.

Or a way to relive, via description, my most embarrassing moments and laugh now at what was excruciating then.

Or maybe it’s to encourage the weak, poor and down trodden, to tell them there is still hope that things will be better.

But why, Jeff?  

Well, maybe it’s because the weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory.  Maybe I just want my children and grandchildren to know what I think and feel today, even when it’s normal they won’t be interested until after I’m gone.     

OK, me. That seems closer, but it still doesn’t answer my question.

The weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory.

Maybe because each stage of life is woven together by day to day events, and writing helps move life along together, like the moon pulling on ocean waves causing high, and low, tides. 

Maybe Jeff, but I really want to know. WHY write!?

Maybe it’s because reading words on paper, words that have spilled out of my over active mind, words that feel part of life are now organized on paper, clean, washed, and pressed, at least in that one drawer. 

Maybe it’s a great ambition to write a world renowned classic. Or possibly the opposite, just a lack of self-esteem that prods me to put down jots and ink dribbles in a feeble attempt to try and explain.

You don’t really know why you write, do you, Jeff?

No. No self, I don’t know.  

Then why do it?

Self, somehow, some way, these words, these pages, they become slivers of me. Other than that, I have no idea.

Question, blogging friend — why do you write?

22 thoughts on “Why Do I Write?”

  1. Hi Jeff, you hit a number of the probables. I would include self therapy because sometimes I find it helpful to write out what I am thinking or pondering about so that it takes root a little deeper. And sometimes God’s Holy Spirit throws a thought into our minds and then kinda takes over. I like those because I have no idea of where it is going. And the connecting with others also plays a part, and sometimes you find that someone needed to hear what you said and that is always encouraging. And because it is a form of discipline, thinking and writing on what God is showing you with others. and it helps me keep focused on what is important, staying in step with Jesus. You know, just like you said! Blessings brother!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce, I agree! My favorite times is when you start and you’re not really thinking, it just starts going down on paper, flowing like the wind blowing through the hair! (Alright friend, maybe not wind blowing through our hair, but you get the idea.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Because I have to. It seems that my “self” won’t let me stop. When I began in 2017 I found that I fills a need in me to share my thoughts and feelings. Second reason is to share that I have learned in 80 years with the hope that it might be of some use.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff, I like the quote about the weakest link lasting longer than the strongest memory. My writing began with a journal back in the 1980’s to document daily life. It was a way to process and record experiences and ideas. I’ve gone back to revisit some of those entries and it seems like they were written by a young man other than myself. I’ve enjoyed revisiting reacquainting myself with him and I’m glad he took the time back then.

    Although we tend to think of our lives as defined by major events, we are continually shaped by more mundane challenges and adventures. Life is so rich that we should be able to find displays of beauty or meaning in the most insignificant things. What are the odds that we even came to exist? Every moment is a complex matrix of time and experience and is as interesting as one makes it. I find it all fascinating and writing is the best way I know to try to capture those experiences and ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Des!! Love it! I echo your journal experience. I wrote regularly in a journal in the mid 80s and it is like going back in time. It brings back memories of things long since forgotten and it does seem like you are introducing yourself to yourself. I totally agree that were are shaped more by the mundane things in life, some of the things that we tend to discount or forget. Those mundane things may seem like a simple stroke of a paint brush, but each stroke is part of our portrait, a picture of who we are. It is fascinating!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why do I write? Truth be told, right now I’m not writing. At all. And I find my head filled with pieces of thoughts, waning flashes of insight, jumbled words and pictures that will likely never see the daylight. I hope I get back to it soon…writing helps me think. It’s the housekeeper who puts all that tangled mess in my head in order.

    I love this, Jeff! It’s good to know I’m not alone in having this same inner conversation. I can relate to all of your reasoning and wrestling here! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you, Rebeca! And it does me good as well to know that other people think and feel the same regarding writing! Sometime when it gets really cluttered in your mind, pick up the pen or sit at the keyboard! I love how you put it! “It’s the housekeeper who puts all that tangled mess in my head in order. “

      Liked by 1 person

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