Why Do You Write?

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Why do we write?

Writing is difficult. Writing is lonely. Writing opens us up to others’ judgement. And writing takes so much time! So why do we do it?

Here are my reasons:

I write to express.

Writing allows me to take something from inside of myself and put it out into the world in a way that can be experienced and understood. It’s a way for me to tell my stories, share my experiences, to be authentically myself.

I write because it’s one of the few things that allows me to be myself—my real self…I don’t have to fake it when I write.

-Ayodeji Awosika

I write to learn.

My thoughts and ideas are so often a swirling mess in my head. When I sit down to write they come out in a way that makes sense. The stories I tell explain the world to me.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.

-Flannery O’Connor

I write for the joy of creation.

Building a world is such a powerful act. Creating a better world, exploring a worse one, or imagining one that is completely different—there is so much joy and freedom in that kind of art.

I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me—the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.

-Anaïs Nin

I write to engage.

For me, to write is to live consciously and authentically. To write is to pay attention and think about the why and how and celebrate the wonder of the world. If I’m not writing I’m not really living, I’m just drifting and not experiencing the world.

We do not write because we must; we always have a choice. We write because language is the way we keep a hold on life.

Why do you write? I’d love to hear from you!

Laurie MacNevin, HF Associate Editor

Laurie is an editor, writer, and researcher. Her deep love of stories led to an Honours degree and a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Originally from Southern Ontario, Laurie has lived in Manitoba for more than ten years, exploring the stories, landscape, plants, and people of some of the most remote parts of the province including three years in Churchill and two years in God’s Lake Narrows First Nation. Laurie and her family now live on an acreage outside of Carberry.

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