There is only one true reason I write – because I have to. There are other reasons that I will list, but at the base of it all is the driving need to write, to get something down on paper or some lasting form.
I’ve thought about that a lot. Why do I have to write? Well, in part, I believe it’s to prove I exist. Sure, I can touch my face or I can see my fingers flitting over the keyboard, but that doesn’t prove there is a mind beyond those movements. The very fact that my body exists doesn’t prove that I exist. Only my thoughts, feelings and imaginings prove that there is a mind behind the movement, the physical being.
I love to see my name in print – as a byline or author credit. It’s not an ego thing, although I do derive pleasure that can only be attributed to my ego. It’s oddly like a headstone or graffiti on a bathroom wall. I was here. I am here now, but later it will prove I was here.
Writing always relieves my internal angst. I can only let go of a problem or idea if I write it down, otherwise there will be no rest. I will not sleep until I’ve done at the very least a scribbled note about the idea or issue.
With the ideas, it’s as if I’m afraid I may wake up mentally blank – a great and desperate fear of mine. For a creative, is there nothing more terrifying than the looming danger of losing one’s mind – as in Alzheimer’s?
With the troubles, it’s a matter of laying them down to rest beside me and luckily they are often solved in my sleep. The writing has saved my sanity. When I’ve teetered on the edge of despair, it was lack of writing that pushed me over.
I’m a perpetually cheerful person, so I’m surprised at the darkness this post represents. But perhaps that’s why I’m able to live in the light, because writing takes away the gloom.
I also write for the pure joy of it. My heart literally soars when I've put down a phrase, paragraph or article that sings. There is no greater high for me.
So, as you see – I write because I have to.