Why I Write

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I’m stealing Orwell’s title, here. Partly because he’s great, partly because I didn’t know what else to call this. So I hadn’t planned to include random musings on this blog, but now and then I have a thought (etc.), and I’ve concluded that thoughts (not necessarily mine) are interesting. So why not write about them?

My most immediate thought came as I was compiling all of the material for this blog. I went through all my old journals and school books, and attacked my computer filing system. There was so much stuff. A trilogy of books I wrote in primary, modelled on the Harry Potter series and named after my cousin; dozens and dozens of short stories and barely-started books; terrible songs written during my college years… As I went through everything, I thought: why do I write? Why have I always written?

I managed to narrow it down to three things: The Three E’s. Expression, Enjoyment, Escape. They all overlap.

Writing is an outlet, where you throw thoughts and ideas and opinions onto paper and feel better just because you got it out. It’s freeing, because you can write absolutely anything you want. There are no limits. You can create people, invent places and determine the fate of your constructed world. Writing lets you explore. Anything is possible, with a pen in your hand.

In high school I would get home in the afternoon, ride my horse, then sit down and write for 1-2 hours. For fun. As soon as I started, I didn’t want to stop. I remember the time going so quickly, I would only realise that an hour had passed when my hand began getting sore. It didn’t matter to me if anyone ever read any of it, I just liked writing. I would get caught up in the characters I had created, invested in their story and excited to see how it would turn out. I didn’t plan much (still don’t), just had a rough idea and began writing. Take my Western novel, for example. I knew that it wasn’t an amazing book as I was writing it, certainly not worthy of being published, but I didn’t care. Writing it was fun, and something I wanted to achieve for myself. Is there a point in writing at all if you don’t enjoy it? If it isn’t for yourself? Probably – but that’s why I write, anyway.

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