Whydo writers write?
Writingis a relevant tool in the global society today for people of allwalks of life. Historically, writing was considered the domain of theelite and well-educated. However, today, one is considered valid forwriting whether they are a professional author, a teacher, a student,a mechanic, a professional bull rider, or an aspiring professionalwriter among others. Whether used in composing academic work andessays, as well as, reporting analyses of the current events in webpages, blogs or newspapers, writing is considered powerful as ittranscends time and space. From my observation, I have establishedthat people have been writing for many centuries to influence theaudience perception, share thoughts, communicate, and express theirinner feelings and emotions. Therefore, this paper explores some ofthe main reasons why I write, my drive and motivation, as well as,examine the inspiration behind any writing work by comparing to otherwriters.
Ihave observed that many successful writers are inspired bycreativity, art, fame and money, popularity, the need to communicate,the need for personal expression, the need to evoke thoughts anddiscussion, therapeutic purposes, while for some, writing comes fromabsolute love. Therefore, writers write for various purposes and usedifferent designs to access their subconscious minds as a way ofhelping stimulate their creative process, in order to come up withideas, solve problems in the story, and improve their writing.However, in my writing, creativity plays a major role because aswriters I can raise questions, and come up with new ideas andsolutions. Studies suggest that the source of creativity is thesubconscious mind, and by using the creative process, one can accessthe bottomless well of ideas just like most professional writers do.As a writer, I am able to extend my point of view either throughdreams, fiction, or by creating their own world of events when in mysubconscious states.
Fromsome few years back, I started keeping a journal and began recordingdaily events for personal purposes. I found keeping a journal afascinating way of sharing my emotions, feeling and emotions inlanguage. I also felt that I accomplished a therapeutic purposethrough personal expression in using a pen and a paper. Historically,the theoretical foundations for therapeutic writing and clinicalpractice have been well documented. Therapeutic writing is alsoapplied by specialists, who use therapeutic writing within thecontext of self-help approached implemented for behavioral, socialand cognitive techniques. In fact, common psychoanalytic approachedsuch as the Freudian have emphasized on the need of the relationshipbetween writing and psychological adjustment. Many psychologistsemphasize on the need for writing a journals for therapeuticapplication to encourage and monitor the process of self-development.This form of writing involves using of multiple sections within thejournal designed to look at self from different perspective.Additional, other forms of therapeutic writing that I use includewriting poetry and structured workbook in expressive form of writing.
Ihave found therapeutic writing techniques to have variety ofbenefits. To begin with, this form of writing has cathartic effectthat helps me to release any strong feelings and emotions, especiallywhen am under pressure. By using this technique, I am able to expressmy thoughts through writing rather than talking. Furthermore, I havealso benefited from therapeutic writing since it provides a means ofexploring my feelings and thoughts, as well as, putting them down inwriting. More so, Bolton (17) adds that therapeutic writing helpsreduce internal conflict, confusion and anxiety, which in turnfacilitates personal growth and creative writing. Writing journals asa form of therapeutic writing has also helped to improve personalcoping skills with daily life as it contributes to the ability forself-expression, reflection, and provides an integrated meaning inlife. Therefore, writers should apply therapeutics technique as anoutlet for emotional expression, as well as, to increase theirpsychological and mental health.
Themain reason why I write is to communicate, educate, influence andhelp instill knowledge to other people. In fact, this should be theprimary reason behind writing for most writers, in order to pass amessage, enlighten, and communicate to their audience. It has beenwidely recognized that writing, articles, novels, poems or playsamong others, is vital for conveying information, as well as,transforming knowledge to create new knowledge. For this reason,writers of educational resources have proved beneficial to studentsin academic programs throughout the world because students rely onwritten resources for knowledge development.
Stillin the educational settings, the need to develop writing skills is ofcritical importance. Therefore, as a student, I use various writtenresources to deepen my understanding and develop writing skills asprofessional writers of academic resources do. For instance in somecases, some writers write to present data and findings of theirscientific research. As a writer, I use these findings and data toestablish facts and advance the previous findings in order toincrease my knowledge and understanding. Therefore, as a writer Iapply my research skills by utilizing resources produced by otherwriters, or fellow students as models to explore how writingfunctions, advance findings and support or refute arguments made byauthors.
Anotherreason why I write is to express myself by making a reading-writingconnection. This connection is evident as in most cases as the voicein writing becomes the personal ‘voice’ of a writer. Joan Didion(173) in her essay states that she writes entirely to find out whatshe feels, what she is thinking, what she is looking at, what shewants and what she fears. This technique enables me as a writer tosee feelings, emotions and thoughts in front of me, as well as,re-look, revise, rework, and rethink my original responses.Therefore, as a writer, i can share activities and experiencesthrough the writing that focuses on reading-writing connections. Thistechnique provides a valuable opportunity for all writers to deepenunderstanding of how their own reading, build skills in writing, aswell as, enhance understanding even further by reflecting on theknowledge of others. Furthermore, in my reading-writing connection,the personal inner voice and feeling is developed as I write, andthis helps to fulfill a specific purpose such as writing to expressgratitude, or writing a note to a friend in order to apologize andexpress remorse. In addition, through the reading-writing connection,it is possible to express inner feelings in words and share them withan audience or an individual.
Ihave always admired great writers who left a trail for others tofollow, and a legacy for their inspiration. For this reason, i writeto influence people’s perception so that I can leave a legacy ofchange and transformation. Most of the resources I write areinspiration, educative and that encourage innovation to help peopleleave the comfort zones, change their attitude, and tap into theirpotential. However, is possible that writers can be explicitlymotivated to write by the desire for fame and money. While all formof writing should be aimed at communicating and educating, somewriters aim for personal satisfaction, while others write in order tobe read. This motivation and drive for fame is also known as ‘sheeregoism,’ which is said to be the fundamental incentive for writing(Orwell, p.4). This drive is also characterized by the desire to beseen clever, to be remembered after death, to satisfy obsession, andthe desire to be talked about. Writers who pursue fame and moneyprefer to get rich, and need other people’s approval so as they canbe reassured that their vision in life is true and notself-delusional. According to Parfitt (12) no genuine writer careabout fame and money and, therefore, it is not necessary of anytalented and skilled writer to secure their universal fame orpopularity. A personal whose personality is habituated to fame, willconstantly seek new forms of fame and may devote all his energies topursuing it rather than influencing the lives of people throughwriting.
Idraw my part of my writing inspiration from writers of the nineteenthcentury whereby female activist and some African American leaderswrote to advocate for human rights and gender equality among others.Writers used their skills to influence people’s political andsocial views to engage their sympathies for a cause and seek theirsupport. Orwell (4) emphasizes that writers who write for politicalpurposes desire to push the world in certain direction. As observed,women writers in the 19th century influenced women into politics andenlightened them about the gender roles by advocating for genderequality through writing. This saw the rise of many women intopolitics and the realization of the need for education. Similarly,writers in the African American community such as Martin Luther Kinginfluenced a large number of audiences to resist oppression,exploitation, slavery by reminding the people and the politicalauthority of their human rights. Today, many writers continue to usepolitical themes in writing to influence the reader’s perceptionconcerning various political leaders and parties. These writers mayshare qualities and characteristics of various political leaders ontheir blogs, articles or a column on the newspaper in order to seekmore support from the audiences.
Asa writer, I am aware that my reasons for writing are likely to affectmy writing, even in the smallest way. If a writer is after money andfame, then they will have to create a work that fits the publisher orthe marker. This means that it will not be exactly what a writer’ssoul would desire, but it could be to meet the need of the bankaccount. Thus, if the writer is after money, popularity or to beread, he/she will have to compromise. Parfitt (13) adds that whatmakes a good writer is the fact that one has discipline to beconsistent in writing, does not lose their sense of urgency to write,loves words, is creative, has experience, pays attention and hashumility. The difference between a true and false writer can beeasily spotted through the kind of writing, which informs and thatwhich reveals or opens up the inner vistas of the mind andimagination.
Asa writer, I have come to understand that the basic motivation forwriting should based on the need to reach out to others through anexpression of one’s inner thoughts, using language as the medium. Awriter should connect reading and writing to enhance creativity andincrease knowledge. Most importantly, Barthelme (27) points out thatthe art of “not knowing” is essential for all writers and arguesthat it is absolutely necessary to the creation of any art. It isobvious that writing achieves so many goals are beneficial to thewriters, students, and the entire society. As a writer, I have becomemore self-aware, self-critical in a way that enables me to focus onwhat I have constructed, especially when strengthened by reflectiveexperiences and peer discussions. More so, it improves the ability todevelop and innovate ideas, shape and pattern inner feelings in textsor statements that one has heard, viewed or read.
Inconclusion, the art of writing requires ample time to rethink,compose, critically examine and reorganize ideas to avoid majorerrors and shoddy work done by many writers. Therefore, it isimportant for even writers to consider brainstorming resources suchas websites and books that can help the writers to provide facts,make inquiries, and advance the existing data and ideas. When this isaccomplished, the thoughts of the writer are given shape, ideas arerefined, and understanding is deepened.
Barthelme,Donald. NotKnowing: The essays and interviews of Donalds Barthleme.New York: Random House, 1997
Bolton,Gillie. TheWriter`s key: creative solutions for life.Clifton Park, NY: Jessica Kingsley publishers, 2013. Print.
JoanDidion, “WhyI Write,” In depth: Essayists for Out Time. NewYork: Harcourt Jovanovich, 1993
Orwell,George. Whyi Write.New York: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated,, 2005. Print.
Parfitt,Jo.. ExpatWriter: Release the Book Within.Great Britain: BookShaker, 2007. Print.