Why I write

Inspired by an article I read recently, Why you should write (and the fact that I have George Orwell's Why I Write bookmarked), I thought I would write my own version.

Orwell puts his motives for writing into four points: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse and political purpose. I'm afraid I can't sum it up quite so succinctly.

We each only have one mind, and we're given a life on earth without having the choice. We need to make it work, and we all have different coping mechanisms when it feels like it isn't. What we think on the inside and see on the outside need to work together in order to enjoy a quality of life. In my case, writing makes everything fit into place.

I've always been one to over-think, worry, wonder and analyse. I'm the introverted sort that can't function without some alone time every once in a while. I'm turning out to be someone who isn't naturally sociable or confident, and instead of letting this get to me, writing helps me come to terms with the way I am and put it to good use.

I feel compelled to write, but it goes deeper than that. I feel that it's an innate part of my personality, it's within the type of person I define myself to be. Most memories from my childhood involve the books I read. When I think of growing up, I think of the writers that captured my undivided attention for weeks at a time. They introduced me to the world of imagination, the pleasure of stories and the delight of being alone with words, when the rest of the universe ceases to exist.

This blog began shortly after I graduated from university, when I took a job in retail. After my first day I came home so determined to find a job related to writing that I started my blog that evening. That was two years ago, and the biggest testaments to my love of writing are the fact that this blog is still here, and my refusal to give into another job in retail, despite the struggles this has caused.

Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. To live each day without introspection or questions would be a day wasted. I'm not a particularly intelligent person, but my mind gets its energy from curiosity. Writing goes hand in hand with being confused about bigger things and wanting to find answers and ways to cope. Comedians are the new rock stars because laughter helps us deal with immortality - and so does writing.

There's no doubt that anyone who meets me having first read my blog is surprised. I cannot articulate anything as well through speech. The neural pathway responsible for thoughts getting out of my mind is a lot stronger through my fingertips than my mouth. In other words, I'm a bit of an idiot face-to-face.

As an anxious person, the world easily overwhelms me - but I'm terrified of the day I don't get to enjoy it anymore. Putting things in writing makes everything align. I desperately want to get as much as I can from what I love in life. And that means a good book, a crisp Sunday Times newspaper or a good session of people-watching. I write because it helps me to remember that that's okay. It's who I am and I should probably stop fighting it someday soon.

"So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information."
                                    George Orwell

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