A Letter To Myself: A Reminder of Why I Write

Lately I feel as if I have just been going through the motions. I’ve been writing for the sake of writing, and deriving no joy from it. I’ve put pressure on myself to publish a set amount of blog posts per week, even if I haven’t felt like it.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, it helps me hone my writing style and practise creating even when I don’t feel inspired. That’s a useful trait to have, particularly for someone who wants to write for a living. However, it brings with it a strange sadness.

Before I started forcing myself to write X number of words a month, I could never imagine a world where I didn’t want to write every minute of every day. Now I am living in it. It is as if I have forgotten why I started writing in the first place, what it is that drew me to the keyboard and whispered to me that I should let the words flow. This is my attempt to recapture that, by reminding myself of why exactly I started doing this.

First, I write because there is still injustice in the world. People may say that one voice does not matter, but that one voice is infinitely louder than the silence that stems from ignorance of issues. And so I have, usefully or otherwise, taken it upon myself to highlight events that I think err on the side of the morally wrong, or the morally dubious. I try to find causes that I really care about and bring them forward into the eyes of you, my audience, who are kind enough to read my musings.

But there is so much more to it than that. What I have just said may seem very noble, but the reason I write is the opposite of selfless. I write for the same reason that so many people love to read. When I am doing it, nothing else matters. I can escape from the horrors or injustices I am writing about by pouring myself onto the paper upon which I am analysing them. In that moment, the outside world becomes irrelevant and I can say what I like in the knowledge that, at the end, I will have reached some form of closure with myself.

I write when I struggle to express myself, when I know that I have an opinion but I can’t pin it down. That’s when I open my computer and let my thoughts bleed onto it. It’s a way for me to debate my ideas with the privilege of being allowed to find out what I think as I go along.

Most of all, however, I write because it is a reminder that I am not defined by who I am, or what I do, or the mistakes I have made in my life. Some might say that you can tell the most from someone by the way they speak when you meet them. I disagree. Any piece of writing is a beautiful window into someone’s personality. It is like a self-portrait, or a photograph, from which you can begin to discern the psyche of the author at that particular moment in their life. It is very difficult to hide or conceal when you write, and that is why I adore it as an art form. Emotions come in their purest state, and are laid bare for all to see who care to do so.

Everyone has a reason for writing, but personally I love the idea of words cascading from my head onto the paper, and making a permanent mark, an indelible reminder of how I was feeling at the moment I produced that piece. My writings are insights into my innermost thoughts, things I might never dare to say out loud if I hadn’t written them down first, and I am thrilled that I can share that with the world.

Ultimately writing is something that allows me to express myself when otherwise I might not be able to do so. It is a way for me to combat what I find unjust about the world, and add my voice to the choir of authors singing disharmoniously on this beautiful invention that is the Internet.

Writing permits my thoughts to transmit themselves to something more tangible, if only I can restrain them and force them to stand together in something approaching a consolidated process. It is my mouth when I cannot speak and my eyes when I cannot see. It is me, distilled into a more concentrated form, and put out for all to view, something I would never dare to do without the protection of a pen and paper to guard what I have exposed.

So there we have it. That’s why I write. Please, please comment and let me know what inspires you to write. I know writer’s block is something we all go through and this has been my way of dealing with it. I would love to hear thoughts on the piece and if anyone else has other reasons for writing, I’m always interested.

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27 thoughts on “A Letter To Myself: A Reminder of Why I Write

  1. This is a very honest and delightful post. I completely relate to you what say about “the idea of words cascading from my head onto the paper, and making a permanent mark, an indelible reminder of how I was feeling at the moment I produced that piece”. I feel the same way about writing as a step towards saying some things out loud.
    Reading such a post, looking back on something that reunites bloggers — writing — in that plain way you did is so valuable to me. Lately, I’ve been inspired to write (more) by such readings.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We all write for different reasons. Considering the world around us, descriptions are always endless. With every second that clicks by, there is another story that can be told or re-vised and rethought. I write to promote the idea of great fiction. I read to write better. I criticize to teach; I create art with the language of English.

    I duly enjoyed your post – we all have our reasons for writing. I wrote a book of over 30 stories. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Collection-Tales-III-Mr-Martin/dp/1497593174/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    I am holding a writing contest. Submit your 500+ fiction story to subs@oval-magazine.com.

    Leave a comment on the new website, here:
    http://www.oval-magazine.com

    How do you define the theme of a story, in your words?

    What do you think of this post inspired by T. Kane?
    http://jcm3blog.com/2015/02/01/fiction-parable-no-1/

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Have you written a book?

    I cannot wait to read more of your writing in the future.

    Nice blog. 🙂

    Like

  3. I liked your post and your honesty on why you write or don’t write at times. It’s thought provoking as I find it tough to write most of the time. Your post relayed the reasons why some days it may be easy, while others, it’s so darn tough. I truly get it. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ben, I can repeat what everyone else has said about your post because I agree with them, but instead I’ll say what others haven’t said or asked.
    1. I like your humility in respecting others. You’ve responded to every to every comment with a a genuine gratitude. I appreciate that. there are people who want you to make comments on their posts, but don’t bother to say anything about what you said. Personally, I write because I want to create a community of likeminded people who would like to dialogue on issues that has been brought up on a post.
    2. I haven’t read your other posts, so my question is out of ignorance. What’s the social injustice you battle?

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    1. Hi! Thanks very much for the kind words, always appreciated 🙂 That’s a very admirable reason for writing, and one that I think a lot of bloggers share.

      As regards social injustices, it tends to be anything I find is under-represented or misconstrued in mainstream reporting, so things like how it’s not fair to pardon only Alan Turing, or to be hypocritical about free speech etc. I try to run against received knowledge if I think it’s wrong or if there is another side to the argument that I feel is lacking exposure. Hope that helps, and thanks for checking out the blog.

      Ben 🙂

      Like

  5. Hi, I’ve just read this post and I can really relate to it. I often write in order to express myself in a way in which words cannot. Sometimes the pressure to publish a post on my blog takes away the enjoyment of writing it but it’s only ever a temporary problem. Reading posts like this really help me to remind myself of why I continue to write and why I love it so much. So thank you for making me realise that once again 🙂

    Like

  6. Your post really resonated with me, on many levels. I feel like we all write for “similar” reasons, as to let our emotions bleed onto the paper (or computer screen lol). And it absolutely is a great way to “pin” something down that you just can’t express out loud. I think it’s also a great idea to write about your writers block, while you’re experiencing it haha it definitely reminds you WHY you write in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely beautiful. I write for the same reasons. Not for the followers or for self praise, but because I believe if even one person reads what I have to say it is better than the silence that would have enveloped that idea or issue. I hope you aren’t still feeling pressure to write. I sometimes do, but when I do, I remind myself that the entire blogging community is here to support each other because we share these similar passions. When you write from the heart, it is more genuine and lasting than any post you can endeavor to write in angst or apprehension. Keep up the great work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stopping by to show a little love from the community pool. I feel like you’re selfless in your writing than I am. I write for purely non-noble reasons,..I know you have yours as well, but I write because it feels good to just see the words on the page and when its good (which it always isn’t lol) it’s like a high. Do you know what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, yeah I know exactly what you mean, which is why I needed to get that post out. I can’t stand it when I sit impotent at my keyboard waiting for inspiration to come, so sometimes it’s best to just write and see what comes out and then edit later!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Brutally honest post, especially the first 3 paragraphs. I think writing only when you have inspiration is not a good formula for the long run. Sometimes, you have to write even when you don’t feel like it so that as time goes by, it gets easier to write everyday.

    Would also love for you to check out my blog and leave some comments/feedback 🙂 Thank you, and have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifully written post. You are right about a piece of writing being a window to someone’s personality. I can certainly sense your passion and concerns, something that wouldn’t have been as acceptable to share had you been saying the same things in conversation to people. Maybe a small percentage of it, but not as clearly as you can in writing. That is exactly why I write. I write so that I do not have to speak. It doesn’t mean I am prevented from speaking in some way, but writing is my way of understanding and communicating with the world. In any other mode, even in something like a conversation, not everything gets expressed and certainly not well enough. But, when you have a lot to say, where do you keep it? In writing, especially in something like blogging where you have immediate interaction, you are in a place where those thoughts do get expressed, for someone to see and think about them, even get back to you and share their views. Nothing else makes this exchange possible. Other than good old fashioned letter-writing, and it’s not like they’re making a comeback!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, i always think of it that when you write, you are basically talking to the person who knows you best in the world, so you don’t have to smother it in any of the airs and graces that you otherwise might. And that’s why I love it so much 🙂

      Like

  11. Brilliant post, thanks again for the link! Everyone really does have a different inspiration or reason for writing. And that’s what makes it so personal.
    Mine was always a give and take. Writing made life that much easier, where I could not express my thoughts in any other way, I could write them down and they no longer seemed half as bad as when they were in my head. That helped me through a lot of slumps.
    However, there were others that had the opposite effect, that when written down, became real, as if I had personified the thoughts and now that they were out there, I could not take them back. And that would sometimes be daunting. That being said, it still is the best form of cleansing for me when I can come to terms with the thoughts in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

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