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.