Why Write?

I’m on a new routine now. I get up every weekday morning and write for 20 to 30 minutes. Its not a lot of time but at least its something. Maybe as my writing improves, I’ll allot more time for it. Usually in 30 minutes I can write 700 or 800 words; a decent length for a short article.

I’m still trying to get my head around why I have such a  strong desire to write. I have no dreams about becoming a professional writer. I’m perfectly happy as an accountant. Looking at the stats for this blog, I can see that not many people read what I write. On my busiest day, 47 people read something on my blog site. Its not bad, but I harbor no illusions that I’ll become very influential.

So what is it? What is it that makes me want to sit at my computer everyday and share some thoughts with the world?

A brief story. On Sunday evening we went to a little party. The same people were there that we always spend time with. Belonging to this group is a tall, blond, serious, young man, about the same age as I am. I’ve recently discovered that he has a good sense of humor. For months I was unsure about whether he laughed. It turns out the he does indeed laugh. He doesn’t say anything funny but he likes when other people say funny stuff to him.

At these parties, I always search him out and try to get him to laugh. I like making very grave people laugh. Its rewarding. So, I found him and I was doing shtick; talking about wives and music these days. I was on a roll. He was cracking up.

Somehow or another we started talking about guitars. He mentioned that he plays the guitar. I never would have guessed, on account of the seriousness. He told me that when he feels stressed or angry or has a lot on his mind, he plays the guitar. Its an outlet for him.

Also, he is trying to learn Spanish. He says that learning Spanish has become an outlet for him too. When his wife or kids are getting on his nerves he listens to an audio program that teaches him Spanish.

I asked him how the Spanish is coming along? He said great, his wife and kids won’t get off his case. Zing! He said something funny. I slapped him on the shoulder and congratulated him.

Maybe there is something to that. I can definitely see writing as a way to vent. It could be sort of a preemptive stress reliever for me because I do it on a schedule. But vent what? I don’t feel particularly stressed? Maybe it is a way to keep from being exasperated with the world? I don’t think so. I like the world and in general I like the people in it. I think people are smart and basically good.

Another thought. Not long ago my mom came to visit us. She stayed for a weekend. We had a great time. One of the highlights was listening to a recording of our family history by the oldest member of our family, Uncle Hal. Ethnically, we are Slavic Jews. I love it. I feel like a Slavic Jew, so the whole thing makes sense.

My mom is probably the biggest fan of my writing. She has this wonderful quality, she loves everything I do. This is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, hearing how good your writing  is definitely boosts your confidence. On the other, your not sure if your any good because maybe mom is just trying to make you feel special.

In any event, my mom is quite a wonderful writer herself. She made the comment that I’m very much like her in a certain way. Like her, I appear to have an insatiable desire to express myself.

This is very true. No matter what, I must say what I think. I won the most outspoken award in my high school year book. I can’t help it. I always have to put in my two cents.

And writing is a really great way to express your opinion. At a dinner party, you can’t just go up to a person and say “Hey, I want to tell you why I write. Listen up for a thousand words while I tell you what I think.” Nobody wants opinions and ideas forced on them. Everybody already has their own thoughts, and are usually quite happy with them.

Writing lets you say whatever it is you want to say. If people want to know about what you think, they can take it or leave it. If people think your smart they’ll read more. If they think your writing is rubbish, they’ll bail.

And unlike a dinner party, you don’t have to look the person your talking to in the face. In person, I might be very shy to express some of my more outrageous positions. There is always the social fear of being judged. Image if nobody like what you have to say? At a party, you can become a pariah, doomed to awkward conversations for the rest of the evening. By putting an idea in writing, you can fully develop it without feeling any pressure.

So, I’ve highlighted a couple of reasons why I write. Its a good outlet for stress. I have a burning desire to express myself. But there is one more element. I’m loathe to share it because it might make me look bad. You won’t think ill of me will you?

Deep down in my heart, I believe that I’m smarter than everyone. Not most people; every single other person on the planet. I stand in a room and I look around and I think “No doubt about it. I’m the smartest one here.” Its a secret that I’ve never shared before. By writing, I can educate all of the poor misguided souls out there about whats right and wrong; how they should be living their lives; how they should think; whats good for them and what isn’t.

Readers can learn from me and bask in my intelligence. If they’ll just take my advice, the world will become a paradise. We’ll all ride unicorns and eat cotton candy for eternity.

Of course those last two paragraphs were written tongue in cheek. But I have sneaking suspicion that most writers have a bit of that in them. If you don’t think that your opinion matters, why say anything? In essence, I think what I have to say is important and people should know about it.

To conclude, I’ve discovered three reasons why I write: 1) To vent my stress and emotions 2) To express myself artistically 3) I think I’m smart and have something important to say that will make the world a better place.


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