I write for several reasons that I always found to be unusual until I started learning more about other writers. It took me years to see writing as more than “just a job” and to understand why writers are writers. This past year has helped me realize the biggest reasons why I write and why writing is so important to me.
I write because I’m not a very talkative person. I’m very introverted and extended social interactions exhaust me. Writing has given me a way to communicate the ideas that sometimes I’m not comfortable saying out loud. Trying to describe thoughts, ideas, feelings, and internal struggles is not an easy task. When given the chance to write them, I can ramble on for pages and pages until I feel like, “There it is. I’ve said it.”
I write because my head is a very busy place. I write the thousands of things going on in my head one sentence at a time. Sometimes the thought has changed somewhere between passing from my head to paper and I think that it looks wrong. I continue to write until everything feels right. Eventually, it feels like I have a good amount of those sentences on paper. But there is always room for more.
I write to understand people. I’m painfully empathetic. The characters I create are characters that I understand or want to understand.
I write to understand myself. I have written in journals since I was very young and always used it as a therapeutic release. Journaling felt like creating informal personal essays. As I began to write more along the lines of fiction, I realized that much of my own feelings and experiences were bleeding into my work. My fictional characters are a part of me. Sometimes they share my personality traits or the traits of people in my life.
I write because I have anxiety. Taking the anxieties dancing around my body and getting them out of me is what I need to do. It doesn’t make them go away completely but it thins them out, shaves them down.
I write because I have depression. Most of my characters share this with me. I transfer my personal pain into their lives. I may write their fictional stories with fictional circumstances, but the thoughts and feelings are mine. My character feels like she cannot breathe. Nothing is choking her physically, but the overwhelming feeling of sadness restricts her in life.
Ultimately, I write because I need to. I have things inside that need let out. I cannot shout them, throw them, silence them or destroy them. I write them on paper. My hope is to share what I have, feel, know, and do not know with as many people as I can and that their lives will somehow be impacted by them, by me.