Why Do You Write?


I write because I used to think I was a moth, until I discovered writing, and I understood I could become a butterfly.

I write because if I do not write I want to write, and if I write, I want to write more.

I write because a story that lives in your heart but is never written is like a love never confessed. It makes the sea cry, and weeping willows sigh, and shooting stars fall from the sky.

I write because I read, and I read because I write.

I write because Shakespeare wrote, and Guy de Maupassant wrote, and Chekhov wrote, and Garcia Marquez wrote too. Fine gentlemen all!

I write because if my writing makes a single person happy, I am happy.

I write because when I speak I say what I do not mean.

I write because when I am alone I hear voices, see visions, feel emotions. I am not mad; I am artistically possessed.

I write because I profoundly dislike my body with all its faults and limitations, and writing allows me to forget it. When I write I become oblivious to my physical existence.

I write because I have always wanted to be someone else. When I write I can become whoever I choose.

I write because I cannot draw, I cannot paint, I cannot sing, I cannot dance, I cannot compose music, I cannot do math, I cannot tie a tie.

I write because I live in a reality that often disappoints me. When I write I create another version of time, and of myself.

I write because writing  helps me discover new things about me, things that I never knew I knew.

I write because I am shy, clumsy, awkward, imaginative, dreamy, melancholic, happy, sad, hard-working, lazy, a bit clever, exceedingly foolish, mindful, unmindful, emotional, introvert, quirky, ridiculous, interested in everything and in everyone and yet not a gossip, outstanding proper and commonplace yet apt to think myself special.

I write because I do not watch TV, or porn.

I write because writing is the most engaging activity in the world, after sex. But since writing can be done all through the day and in all places, and does not take two, it might beat even sex.

I write because I want to impress my lovers and my friends and everyone else.

I write because I do not want wealth or fame, but immortality.

(This is an abridged version of a post originally published on 2012/07/02)

64 thoughts on “Why Do You Write?

  1. I write because I’ve always felt that no one listened to me, so I thought maybe they would read what I had to say instead.

    1. It’s important for your words, spoken or written, to have an audience. Like the song from Les Misérables – let them hear you, let them hear you.

    1. We’re much alike then Tebogo, although we live far apart from each other. By the way, do you get to see camelopards often? I saw one when I was little and it impressed me much.

      1. Well, I visited a national park once where I saw a few but I couldn’t get as close to one as I wanted to. It was quite an experience, though. I grew up in the city so I never got to see camelopards often 🙂

          1. Haha yes the neck was really long! It looked huge compared to us humans. Would have loved to go stand right next to it to see how insignificant I would have seemed.

  2. As I said in Daniel’s comment box, I write because it’s the only time I tell the truth.

  3. Wow, that was beautiful. I’m a little choked up.

    I write to entertain. Because the people in my head shock me, make me laugh, make me cry, piss me off, get me high, and make me feel alive.

  4. I sometimes write because I like what I’m like when I write.
    I also write because not many people know I do, and so there’s always left this one little secret more about me.
    I write because writing is my characteristic, it’s an integral part of me without which it wouldn’t be me anymore. It would be another me. And I think this me is ok. So I write.

    I write only sometimes because only sometimes people don’t disturb me with questions and requests.

      1. Oh, dear; oh, my! Now I understand… You’ve been following my covered up in dust and spider web abandoned blog which was linked to my profile instead of my actually used one… I fixed that terrible mistake so now you should be able to visit my actual blog…

        About the sentence, feel free to add it if you wish. I reserve no rights to it;)

        1. Oh!

          I’m checking the right one now. I like your intro. 🙂

          I might add that sentence to my story, and when it becomes famous I’ll send you a hat as recompense. 😀

  5. LOVE this post Vincent. how eloquently you speak on behalf of all who wield the quill, weaving with this strain of ink that threads itself through the hearts of writers…

    1. Lately I have been lately accused of eloquence… It might be true. Hip, hip, hooray! I just tossed my hat in the air, and it landed perfectly on my head, and at that exact moment I winked at you, and I am sure you saw and winked back. How fine we are!

  6. I like your comment about writing and immortality. However, not even writing beats an evening of passion.

  7. This blows me away, your words hit home for me: artistically possessed, a story not written like a love never confessed, entering a trance, creating an alternative reality. You hit so many good points and said them very well. This is like a writer’s declaration of being.

  8. I write because I am a survivor. Writing gives me back the voice that was stolen from me all those years ago.

      1. I write in a little blue journal just for myself. I gave up on writing stories. Although, I always tell my husband my dreams when we wake up in the morning, before he goes to work. He keeps begging me to turn them into short stories. Sometimes my dreams are funny, sometimes scary, but they’re always colorful and vivid.

  9. “I write because when I am alone I hear voices, see visions, feel emotions. I am not mad; I am artistically possessed.”

      1. Are you really from Mars?

        I suspect this could go on so I’m going to jump to my answer instead; yes, yes I do, and it’s also a nickname and so used instead of a real name. 🙂

        What’s space like?

  10. In addition:
    I write because if I don’t these thoughts will never leave my head.
    I write because I can’t be silent when I witness all the injustices that take place in the world.
    I write in the hopes that someone will find wisdom, beauty, or solace in my words even if that someone is only me.

  11. Vincent, I write because I want to be apart your class of gentle-persons. I want to grow luminous nor-wings laden with gold and burkastine silk pockets. I want to leave presents on other strange people’s door steps and have the creativity to correlate something as splendiferously unrelated as shoe laces and love- lovelaces. I want to be a tempting faiery Queen, named Casild. And a white dove known as Amordove. I want my name to be a synonym of love

  12. “I am not mad; I am artistically possessed.” — my new answer to my family when they read my poetry and ask if “everything is okay?” I never know how to answer that…yes and no, I am happy and sad, I hate this life and also love it. I write because I can’t help myself and if I keep the lines in my head I will for sure go mad. 😉

  13. “I write because I cannot draw (my friend freaked out when she saw my dragonfly drawing supposed to be for my tattoo, she suggested me to google for better pictures. it wasnt that ugly just looked so…dragonfly, a kindergarten dragonfly) , I cannot paint ( i love coloring with color pencil tho), I cannot sing (obviously), I cannot dance (i am a walking brick), I cannot compose music (keynote = numbers > me no good), I cannot do math (my left brain had long paralyzed), i dont wear tie =D

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