Why do we write?


It would be a lot easier not to write. We could stand waiting for a bus without scrutinising the other people in the queue or considering how exactly we would convey the shape of the ancient tree overhanging the bus shelter. We could take part in healthy activities like team sports, proper jobs, talking to our families. But we don’t. Well not most of the time anyway. Something draws us inexorably to the notebook, typewriter or laptop. It would be easier to gaze at the blank page for five minutes and then go and do something more constructive like earning money or cleaning someone else’s house (come on, you know it’s more fun than cleaning your own) or learning to pole dance. But we keep staring. Occasionally making pretty patterns with repeating letters and punctuation marks. Then something magic happens. That idea turns into a sentence, a paragraph, a page, several pages and for those minutes, hours, the joy of being a writer kicks in. Until you rashly read it over and realise it won’t do. So you have to re-write it. There is no escape from this addiction.

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2 thoughts on “Why do we write?

  1. But if we didn’t write we’d have that sense of deprivation, and we wouldn’t experience the exhilaration of new ideas and the pleasure of pouring them out then sculpting them until we think they’re ready for exposure.

    One of the things I love about writing is its independence from other people, from the weather, from just about anything.

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