Ponderings-Why do I write?



Recently, I was talking to a friend with whom I connected after a long gap of 28 years. Or tête-à-tête led on to some light-hearted banter which then led to some serious discussions on life and the purpose of our lives. After meandering over the subject for some time, she asked me point blank, “Why do you write?” I replied that it is an inner drive in me that makes me write.

In fact, her question made me seriously think about it. Upon reflection, I recalled how every time I tell someone I’m writing, the first question they ask me is, “Are you a published author?” I guess the first thought that comes to mind for most people is – if you don’t publish books, you don’t exist! I wish people would understand that there are many reasons for folks who write to express their thoughts. Yes, recognition would definitely be great, but that’s not what I am keen on!

I write because every now and then there are thoughts and feelings within me that wish to be released into written words. Every time I procrastinate or fail to respond to the call (which, unfortunately, does happen quite a few times!), those thoughts and feelings dissipate into thin air and a part of me dies! The fact that my friend isn’t a writer also says something about some of the people who never seem to understand the reasons behind why people write.

As the above infographic shows, the physical act of writing does have a significant impact on how information is brought to the forefront, enhancing our ability to focus more effectively! A lot of the time, I also write to help focus and recall events from memory because writing encourages a good recall especially through methods such as story-telling.

We all go through experiences that teach us some difficult life lessons. As a writer, this pushes us beyond the barriers of everyday existence into a world of possibilities. The path may not always be smooth and predictable, but there are new horizons to explore always, which add to more adventure in life, away from the staid and the ordinary. Writing provides one with a multi-coloured lens that helps to present the myriad hues of the human condition to the reader. Each moment of anticipation is full of excitement about what could happen in the next. Personally, as a writer, the process is not about the destination, but about the journey! And, if by chance, this process leads me on to my destination, I’d be more than happy. But, it is the everyday grind, the discipline and the persistence that speaks more to my heart.

Some days, my thoughts lead me to wonder—Why do I spend so much time dreaming up words and ideas that I hope might influence/inspire people? What’s the point?

None of us can deny that it is a very heady feeling to realise the power of one’s words. The fact that the pen can yield a mighty power to actually influence minds on a particular issue is a no-brainer. For thousands of centuries, writers have ushered in the winds of change in people’s minds and forced society to question mores and values, thoughts and ideologies—which could be seen as reason enough for them to be accountable for their contribution in a wider sense.

When I think of my reasons to write, the first thought is that of an impulse, a force that wants to bring about small changes in the way we view things, even if the change were to be a minute one. Simply put, it would mean I would have achieved something. As someone rightly said, “At times, it feels like riding a roller coaster; other times, it’s like riding a donkey.” I couldn’t agree any less.

Writing pushes me to grow and discover more about myself. I couldn’t live any other way. When I hear from my readers that my writing has earned their appreciation, it fuels me on to write more. Whilst I can say that in my initial years, I keenly sought validation from my readers, now, six years down the line, I write without having to worry about that. My voice is what matters to me. If it resonates with another soul, all the better. That would be a bonus!

Now, looking back on how I continued to write through the multiple setbacks of life, all I can say is—Writing gave me hope when I had none. It showed me light when I was in the dark. It quelled my fears and nudged me to pick up the pieces when I was shattered and broken all over. And, in doing so, if I’ve been able to help a soul or make even one life a little easy or helped someone to find their way on a dark night, I’d have achieved my goal.

I think the ultimate objective would be if someone someday came up to me and said, “What you wrote changed the course of my life.” To me that alone would be worth more than anything else in the world.

Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.  -C.S. Lewis

Linking this post with WriteTribe’s #Write My Heart Out.


8 thoughts

  1. Frankly speaking, I have no writer in my friend circle( the one that exists at my arm’s length) I prefer not to discuss my writing process with them, because I feel that it might turn odd for them. But with my blogger friends and with my writer friends online, I feel at home, as if our hearts beat together. For me, writing is almost like the call of my inner self. I am so thankful to you for writing this post. It made me ponder on the topic too:)

    1. Thank you so much Maliny! Glad to know the post resonated with you…it is amazing that we write for our own self but when we share it, we find there are others who feel so much alike…the bonding within the blogger group is very encouraging 🙂 I too feel like I have soul mates who are there with me sharing my innermost thoughts! So lovely to see you stop by and share your views at Soul Talk!

  2. I can very well understand your take on why you write. In fact every blogger who will come to read your post will be capable of understanding your thought process because we all are writers here. And I also identify with your conversation with your friend. In my case my friends think I am highly creative (whereas the fact is that I feel like a reporter reporting everyday events of my life) that once a friend asked me if I could write a poem on ‘My Mother’ which her daughter needed to submit the next day in school. I wish I had a magic wand weaving poems at the whim in that moment but sadly it is not the case.

    1. Agree, Anamika. I am sure we all identify with certain bits of the thought processes that are involved. I guess now that I’ve just started writing after a long hiatus, it feel more like a clinical relief when I put down my thoughts and feel happy about doing so! If at some point, this changes and I wish to seek recognition, things will be different. I can totally understand how people think you can generate verses just because you are creative…I did a couple of them once to help my son few years ago…and it was tough to say the least! Thanks for dropping by at Soul Talk btw 🙂

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