Why Do I Write?


There are 192 documents on my laptop computer; each one a rabbit hole of stories and ideas that never really found their ways out of my mind. Scores of characters, as real and human to me in the moment as any real live person are captured there in the raw form in the little digital folder on the screen of a computer, dozens of stories and plots and attempts at philosophy are found there as well. All are incomplete, unhewn blocks of ideas that seep from the overflowing cauldron of my conscious and unconscious mind. The pot gets too full, there are so many thoughts and ideas that simmer in my brain and eat at the back of my skull until I must, out of necessity, imprison them in a cage of paper.

Most plainly said, I write because I must. The cauldron must be poured out a bit before more brain-soup can be added. Because I tend to be a quiet and even anti-social human being, words must thus be written rather then said, a pen scratched on paper or words typed in front of a screen. But in any case, everyone must have a medium to speak their voice, however insignificant or uninspired, so they don’t go insane from all the pressure of ideas in their heads. The pressure can be intense, especially for an adolescent like myself; thousand existential crises plague our every hour. “Who am I?” “What is the nature of human interaction?” “Is our world to forever be flawed or is there hope of perfection?”

I know many great thinkers have pondered over the same questions that all humanity must contemplate at any given point in life.

I too have mused on my purpose in life: Who I am? What I was meant to do? Others have always told me that only I can detangle the knotted ball of my own raveled consciousness. I suppose writing is the way I can do that. My pen is the sword that slices through the knot of my philosophical ideas, if only to unwind the craziness of endless reasoning. Words on paper become real, definite, and concrete, the physical manifestation of the strongest cyclones of logic and theories that whirl through my mind. When the ideas can finally be spewed out of my brain, I can be freer; my mind can function better, like a computer that runs faster with a couple gigabytes of data moved to a backup drive.

In the end, I write because words written are real. Oral tradition comes and goes and evolves and changes, but writing is forever and perpetual. The words of others from centuries ago still read the same as then, and the words I write in documents on my dusty old laptop from almost a decade ago are still there untouched, a lasting testament to a fixed moment in time, a point in the life of a child that is no longer a child anymore. If I can capture an idea in time, like a photograph captures a moment, maybe then I can shed one more pinprick of light into the shadow of time forgotten.