by Katy White
A couple of days ago, Twitter blew up with a hashtag specifically designed for us: #WhyIWrite. The comments ranged from funny to profound, and I found myself doing a lot of head nodding. Some head scratching, too, but I was glad about that. I loved seeing the diversity of thought and experience that compels people to write.
Some of the trends I noticed centered on how writing is freeing, how it helps people explore anxieties and phobias, because they felt alienated growing up and never finding stories that reflected their reality. Others said they write because of the voices (heh heh), because of the stories in their heads that demand to come out. Others said that it's because they are mortal, because writing ensures they go on living after they die, because they want to leave a legacy, to be remembered.
Meanwhile, I said:
I'm deep like that, guys.
Honestly, though, the hashtag stayed with me, particularly because of the powerful responses from fellow writers. There are so many reasons to write--some of them noble, some of them less so--but the fact is that writing fulfills something in all of us. It's something I don't think most of us could quit if we tried to. Even when we aren't writing, we're thinking about writing. We're taking notes on our phone or in our travel-sized notebook. We're waking up in the middle of the night with a cool idea or the answer to a plot problem and debating whether or not we should write it down or if we'll remember it in the morning. We're staying up late night after night to write after our kids or even spouses are asleep because we sincerely believe our writing time is more valuable than our sleep time (thank you, Diet Pepsi).
In other words:
It's not really optional, is it?
What do you say? Why do you write? Sound off in the comments!