Why do we write?
I imagine that some of us simply have a lot to say, and few people to say it all to. Some write to think and to process, to evaluate. Some write to spread information. Some write to give voice to opinion. Some write to create. Some write to revise, to edit, to influence. Some write to investigate, to discover. Some write to inspire. Some people write just for something to do. Others write because the things they can imagine are better than the things they experience. Many write because there are experiences of life that must be documented, and some write to tap into the whole human experience.
Some people write because they just can’t stop talking about nothing at all. I am probably one of those writers. I like to think I’m in one of the other categories, but maybe it’s an insufferable cry to be heard. Maybe you do that too. Usually I write so that I may leave something behind of who I am. Perhaps that is selfish and egotistical.
No matter. Our reasons are highly irrelevant. What matters is the manner in which we write. By that I mean truth. Regardless of the purpose, the audience, the end product – we must write truthfully. For the novelist this can mean writing what you truly envision, whatever world or reality that may be. For the reporter that means portraying facts without bias. For a casual blogger that may not seem to mean anything, but it means writing, truthfully, your thoughts, your ideas, whatever it is you seek to share. Be honest with yourselves. Be honest with your readers.
The best stories are the ones that could be real. The best reports are the factual ones. The best poetry is not pompous but human.
Ernest Hemingway once said — ‘All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’
The truest sentence that you know…
What would we reap if we paused our frenetic typing and scribbling, and stopped, until we could write the truest sentence that we know? I doubt many of us will ever know that. Maybe one day we will. But as I type this out, I surely do not know what that sentence would be.
4 thoughts on “What is writing all about?”
When I started my blog I had in mind to process my thoughts on my future. While this is still true, I set ‘a post every three days’ rule. Now it is every four days. The goal, then, became to look for something in my routine or interactions with others that is ‘write-worthy.’
Every four days.
With self-imposed deadlines, it is actually easier for me to find people or situations of interest.
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That is very much why I began writing as well, to find the things in my life that are ‘write-worthy.’ I moved half way across the country and started a new job, and writing helped me to focus on the interesting things rather than strictly the difficult or the different. My focus has loosened though.
At any rate, I think that this sort of writing lends itself to truth, unless of course it’s ourselves we’re lying to.
It’s bee a while since I found a blog I could get lost in a little.
I write because I breathe. I’ve always written, except for when I didn’t. I’ve done it as a vocation most of my adult life. The spot in between then and now, a write-less existence, is coincidentally one of my darkest. I’ve lost writing, and regained it. When stats go down and my ideas run dry, I’ll still write. My post for Monday is kind of on that subject.
The quote on your home page? Totally going to steal it for tomorrow. And thank you publicly for it.
Look forward to more reading here.
I really like how you put that – you write because you breathe. I’ve written for myself since I was 5, but writing publicly is all new to me. My darkest times always seem to go without writing as well – thankfully it comes back.
Thank you for your kind words. I hope my scattered thoughts and jumbled writing won’t disappoint if you do pass by again.
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