The Write Direction

January 21, 2013
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I was recently asked a question that was actually incredibly important to me, even though the asker just meant it as a quick topic of conversation. I was asked why I write. Why do I write? I have no idea, but after hearing this question, I was scrambling to find the reason. I say scrambling, but that was a few days ago and I'm only writing this now, so I hardly ever scramble. I had some time to myself and I found my mind wandering back to this question. Why do I write? The conclusion I came to was this. We all have a destiny, if you will. We all have a place that we are supposed to go in our lives. While I've never thought of it all that seriously, for me that might be writing.

Have you ever heard the rustle of changing leaves as wind blows through them, or felt the laughter of that very same wind on your own back? Anyone that has understands how close to impossible it is to describe. The words aren't even there. It's simply an event, a passing moment. How could anyone say what it is? I don't know, but somehow, I feel like I can. I might not get my point all the way across, exactly as it was, but I can get close. I can try to turn feelings into words and put them down on paper. Maybe that is why I write. Maybe I do it for the feeling of knowing that something inexplicable has just been described, by me. It's not that feeling of power that I want, certainly not. I don't want the feeling of defeating nature's unknown or anything like that. I think that, for me, the fact that I can describe my feelings is enough. The fact that I can even get close to understanding what I felt. That is why I write, more than any destiny or anything else. I write to understand.

People have asked me why I write about myself and my experiences. This is reasonable because I don't have anything particularly interesting in my life. I think it's fun for me, but I doubt anyone would want to read it. Like I said, it's about understanding. And there are those that have never really written before, and they don't know how it can feel to see your own life in words, as a plot, and all of a sudden you know what could happen next. It helps you see what you need to do, what you didn't do, and what you are doing right that moment that might need to be changed. Why would I write myself into the plot? Why would I make the plot so boring? It's just my life, and no one else's. It's not interesting in any way, except for helping me understand it. Why wouldn't I write magical stories about adventure and conquest with exciting plot twists?

The answer to that question is that I do enjoy writing fiction. But obviously, it only connects to a certain level. Everybody can see part of themselves in some character from a fictional story. That doesn't mean you have connected with the text. Maybe it's different as a reader, but as a writer, I've had a lot of trouble with writing about things that aren't true. I feel like I'm tricking myself into this nonsensical world, and forgetting about the actual things that are happening in our world right now. Perhaps writing about my own life is just easier because there's less there. I'm not really sure why, but I feel like not enough people look at themselves. I think people know who they would like to be, but not who they really are. I think writing is my way of finding out who I am, the kind of person I want to be. It helps me decide what to do next. When you write about yourself, and you put all the facts down, it's raw and exposed right there. There's nothing to hide behind or anything you can change. If you want it to be true, then you put everything down. You can't pretend to be something else when everything you write is you.

I'm still not entirely sure why I write. After thinking all of these thoughts on why I do this on paper, I still don't know what to tell the person who asked me. I only know that I write. I feel like I'm supposed to write and it will be an important part of my life. I write this exactly as I think it. I review it for grammatical errors and maybe to slightly adjust the flow, but the words generally stay the same. I don't change my thoughts to make them different on the paper. Everything you see here is a direct look into my mind. I write because that's what I want. I want to be able to organise my thoughts and get things sorted out. I want free space in my head to add new thoughts after adding these old ones on paper and getting them out of my head. This is my Pensieve, for anyone who is fond of Harry Potter, as most everyone is. If you are reading this, I apologise for boring you with my life, but it has to go somewhere and writing is helping point me that way.

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