One of the most common questions I have gotten as a writer and in college, is why do you write? There are much more pressing matters in the world and in college than creative writing, and when you are juggling work, classes, relationships, and illnesses it can seem like there already aren’t enough hours in the day. To many, the idea of spending what little free time you have on writing seems completely ridiculous.
Imagine a world where you never get to pick up a book. Nobody sings, nobody tells stories by the fire. Imagine a world where you never saw a photograph or a painting. There were no weekly episodes of your favorite TV shows, no radio programs even. You don’t get to hear podcasts or watching movies. There are no plays or musicals or YouTube videos. How bland and boring would it be? Somebody has to write. Somebody has to sing, or draw, or paint, or dance, or act, or play the didgeridoo. Why not me? Why not you? Why not us?
I knew I wanted to be a professional writer from a young age. All kids make up stories with their toys, but there was always something different for me. The worlds I created were vast, the magic had limits and rules, the characters had backstories that ran much deeper than what dress Polly Pocket would wear to prom. (Yes, my Fashion Pollys still had very dramatic dialogue over prom dresses between really epic magic wars. No, I was not a crazy child genius.) There was something quite boring about existing in the mundane world, and as soon as I could write I began writing down these characters and stories. Even today, I am adding and amending the worlds and ideas I created years ago.
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”Ray Bradbury
I think art is an important coping mechanism for all things that happen to us. Whether they are minor inconveniences, or some much larger trauma, we can often find an escape in creating or observing what others have created out of similar situations. Human beings have, throughout history, always been drawn to the arts and, although society may argue against creative expression, this is not different today.
This was amplified within me following my treatment for Thyroid cancer. Before I got sick, I had been struggling to write and while I physically lost my voice following my surgery (vocal cord damage is not a good time), I metaphorically found my voice again in the aftermath. In fact, I currently have a short story focused on this part of my life that is sitting on an editor’s desk; submitting it was terrifying, but now I can’t wait to share it with the world. I feel driven, now more than ever, to make noise and share all of my stories. If my words can impact one person, make one person’s day better or their struggle a little bit easier, then I will feel fulfilled as a writer.
Let’s talk. Leave me a comment down below and tell me why you write, or what inspires you to create whatever art you create!