Why I Write

The past several weeks, I have been in in a pseudo stage of writer’s block – feeling uninspired and unmotivated to dedicate the time to the passion I love. Then one day, when scrolling through news on Twitter and checking what was trending, I noticed the hashtag #WhyIWrite. It was in honor of October 20 or more importantly the National Day on Writing. I clicked through and began to see the inspirations behind why other people write. It got me thinking – as I continue to write through this blog and other channels – about the very power and essence of writing, and even more so my own love for it.

For me, writing is a passion, and it’s been interesting to understand how people unearth their passions. They may be born with an itch for a particular thing, and have known it since their very first memory, or they stumble upon it by surprise, caught completely off guard by a new love they didn’t know existed.

Mine is a little of both. I feel from my earliest moments I had an active imagination and I was obsessed with stories. Whether it was watching Dorothy stumble into Munchkinland and the screen turn from black and white to an incredible array of vibrant colors, assembling Happy Meal toys into a ensemble cast of characters, or getting a seat at the kitchen table to hear my grandparents share stories from “back in the day,” I was enamored with story. They could be one cooked up in my own mind, read through a book, seen on TV, or passed on through family, whatever the case my imagination would run wild with hypothetical scenarios, or vividly imaging what really took place.

I imagined the clay wall with the words “Fear not the one who hurts the body, fear the one who hurts the soul” etched into it in a bunker in Korea, where my great uncle tossed around the thought of whether he would live or die. I remember imagining what it felt like to drown (yes, kind of morbid) when my great aunt recounted a story when she nearly did as a teenager, losing two friends on an otherwise innocent day. I thought about what the doll looked like that my mimi and her sister (my great aunt) shared as their only toy during what was the Great Depression. I envisioned the carnival where my grandparents had met, and my grandpa recounted the “love at first sight” when he first met my mimi. Those were just a few of the number of stories I had the pleasure of hearing, and asking about.

Then there were the films, and television shows, where I’d imagine life before the first scene, and what happened after the credits started rolling. There were countless books where I would envision the characters and how they looked and dressed, and what their laughs sounded like, or wondered who I’d be friends with. I began envisioning my own episodes to shows and chapters to books, imagining my own spin on the plot.

All of those tiny moments, which happened each and every day as I grew up created a love of story, and a passion for writing.

Of course, my passion for writing would be nothing without my love of reading, and for my love of television (by some stretch, another form of reading). There is a natural marriage in the spouses of reading and writing, and I often find the reasons I write, are the same for why I read. As I can escape into a world of stories through reading, I feel the same about writing. For the handful of reasons I write, I also read. My blog, my journal, my potential story ideas, as well as a series of books, blogs, and articles I have read, or am reading, have been a way of healing a broken heart and mind, reflecting on the journey of life, connecting with other people, and learning and growing as a human being.

In the midst of this pseudo writer’s block, I had been given the prompt – in the form of an ordinary hashtag – that would reignite the fuel that is my writing. The ideas of why I write began to culminate, and with every reason that came to mind, I’d ask myself: what exactly was the purpose behind this passion?

I write to connect.

I write to share stories and lessons.

I write to learn.

I write to reflect.

I write to cope and heal.

But then I realized that there is one solitary reason why I write – one reason that connects all the others: I write to live.

I find that writing is like breathing: it is necessary for me to live.  I feel natural when I’m writing. There is an ecstasy that only comes from when pen hits paper, or when my finger tips – at lighting speed – type away on my computer; a peace that makes me feel comfortable and fulfilled; an active direction that allows me to feel that I am not passive in this life, but living a calling.

While I’ve neglected time for writing, I’ve found that the time I spend doing so makes me happier, feel more accomplished, and self-aware. I think all three are components to longevity of life. Just as good diet and exercise lead to a healthier life, I find there is something to be said for living your passion. And so yes, it may seem like some form of hyperbole, but I do write to live. I write because the passion to do so is part of my mind, heart and soul. It is who I am, and to not live that is to slowly, but surely die – hyperbole, maybe; unequivocal truth, definitely.

When I write I feel alive; I feel happy; I feel enlightened; I feel grateful; I feel reflective; I feel connected; I feel myself.

So yes, I write to live and to embrace the abundance of these feelings. In doing so I know who I am and my purpose in and for this world. I hope to leave my impact through my writing one word at a time and that through this journey, I can make your life a little more passionate, enlightened and happy.

Why do you write? Why do you cook? Why do you sing? Why do you teach? Why do you create? Why do you analyze? Why do you do what makes you feel completely alive? Whatever your passion is, remind yourself of the purpose and reasoning by asking yourself, why? You just may realize how important your passion is, and why this world needs you.

4 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. Beautiful expression of the meaning of life: to live fully the most complete version of ourselves. You remind us of that in this piece. Thank you for reminding us that the coals of the heart need to be blown ablaze again from time to time

  2. As always, Matt, you make me ask questions of myself. Ones I may not ask unless reminded. Thanks for the reminder. Keep breathing, living, and being happy with your writings. You give joy and inspiration to others when you do!

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