Why We Write This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 30, 2009
“I write for the same reason I breathe.”

I found this written in my best friend's journal one day. It took me a while to figure out exactly what she meant.

The first thing that came to my mind when I considered why I write was, because I have to. But that wasn't exactly a pleasant idea. I write the beautiful things I write because I have to? That didn't make sense.

I don't write because I have to. I write because I want to. But it's deeper than that.

I write because otherwise I would scream. Because if I didn't have a pen in my hand, my feelings would circle my mind until they clawed their hurtful essence into the walls of my brain for good. If I didn't write, I would be more confused than a penguin at the North Pole. I write because I would go homicidal if I didn't vent somehow. My friends have too many burdens already; it would be selfish to rage at them about my life.

When I write, I can crumple the paper up and maybe even burn it. Even though that doesn't always get rid of my negative feelings, it simulates action. And having that feeling lets me live my days happier.

So, I don't really write because I have to. I write because I need to? That still isn't right.

So I looked at it again. I examined the intricacies of words and how they are just sounds woven together to make other sounds in a way that moves us. Every slip of a syllable, every twist of a vowel explodes emotions that can't be achieved any other way. With every synonym and every adverb, our senses tingle and warm up.

I guess I've arrived at an idea. An idea why Shakespeare immersed us in love, and why Margaret Mitchell takes us back to a place we know as our own country but feels like a different world. A reason why Emily Dickinson wove her words with gentle purpose, and why Emily Brontë wrote us a chilling love story.

I write to connect. I write because I know that if I write about my feelings and who I am, somewhere across the world, someone else will read it and it will mean something to them. I write to make myself known to someone else.

And maybe that's why the classics become classics. They strike a chord with millions of people all at once and make a permanent mark in literary history for being timeless.

I hope that some day I can have even my tiniest thoughts and feelings understood and even recognized.

So, yes, I write for the same reason I breathe.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

Nick5 said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm
I can only name two literary pieces that will bring tears to my eyes: Where the Red Fern Grows and Why We Write. Both are pieces to be  read by thousands and spoken by millions. "Heros live forever, but legands never die" --Babe Ruth in The Sandlot
miracle_of_hope said...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm
it is always beautiful when one of us learn the reason we love to feel the pen in the hand.....
ifairyu said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm
amen, brother, amen. I can probably assure that every aspiring writer on this network can understand this, feel this way because writing is everything to us.
Wicked_Hot-Lush_Lips said...
Feb. 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm
That is very true and very heartfelt
You are an inpirational writer
Keep up the good work!
ZenGirl said...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm
That was beautiful and so true! <3
ChristopherK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm
Thankfully you express yourself very well and I know exactly what you're talking about.
You seem like a really good writer, so I hope you can write about a wide variety of topics. Unfortunately, too many teens write about how much they love writing, and that's the only think they write about!
But good post.
EnglishGirl replied...
Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm
Well, I wrote about a totally diferent thing. Would you like to read it?
ChristopherK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm
Well, sure!
EnglishGirl replied...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 11:21 am
Great, how can I send you that?
writingtiger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm
Thank you thank you thank you ever so much for finally giving me an answer. I have asked myself that question for years. You have finally made me realize my answer. I forever admire you for that.
Sideways8 said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 11:37 pm
So here's the deal, Frankie M. My identity is irrelevant. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get to your writing. On the surface, it's pretty good writing. You obey the laws of parallelism, use semi-colons well (that's rare) and have an extremely strong voice. You know that you don't have to write like a scholar to write well. I commend you for that. Compelling introduction, also.
I understand your point, but I'm a bit confused about the connection to... (more »)
izz123 replied...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm
I think I might know what she means by her comparison to breathing. I was a bit confused when I first read the ending line, but after thinking for a while, I came to a conclusion. Why do we breathe? Even though we have to, it's not simply that. Using that logic, no one would have a will to live. But, as the author hinted towards the end of her magnificent article, she also writes because she wants to leave a mark, an impression, through the connection she described. And if you think a... (more »)
Sideways8 replied...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm
Breathing allows us to make a connection in the world and writing is that connection to the world. Or, I suppose you could say that writing allows you to make a connection in the world. That makes sense.
But that's not why I breathe. I breathe so that I can form ATP by...I can explain the biology if you really want. But. Perhaps better wording would be that breathing allows her to do the same thing that writing does? Doesn't sound as poetic, but makes more sense.
Taz13 said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm
Frankie, you are a truly amazing writer. you make me want to write even though i know i am horrible at it. you are a TRUE inspiration. keep writing! (:
Kraleeq said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm
This is such a great article! I can really see why some people love writing so much, because to them it means something much deeper than anyone else can understand! Amazing work!
AnonymousGuy said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm
This truely is a spectacular article! Like, seriously, I read this and I thought "YES!!! Someone who knows the essence of writing who ISN'T an adult!" I'll never forget what you've wrote here and i'll try to apply it to my writing as well! Kudos to a job well done! :)
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