Why Do I Write?
Why do I write?
Is it to impress?
Do I write for money and fame.
I don’t write to impress. I’m well aware of the fact that my skills in writing are nowhere near excellent. I am not even halfway my journey to excellence in writing. I am not sure if I’ll get there before I breathe my last. I have a long long way to go. Perhaps I may need a dozen of lifetimes (or more) in order to surpass the accomplishments of the likes of William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Browning, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy and the likes.
Do I write in the hope of earning money and becoming famous? Not even! Fame and money are not my primary motivations for writing.
“There’s no money in writing” is a cliche. But that’s the truth. Writing is not financially rewarding. Unless you are a script writer of one of the popular TV networks or movie outfits in your country or a novelist who belongs in the league of the likes of J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown and Stephen King.
The rewards that writing gives, I believe, are hard to quantify. Such rewards are transcendental. But if ever I become rich and famous because of writing…why not.
What about becoming famous receiving accolades for great works produced? NOPE! As a matter of fact, when I write and allow people to read my works I am unnecessarily putting myself under the microscope. Instead of accolades I may get negative comments instead. This is the reason a friend said he would never write for any publication or post any writings on any of the social networking sites fearing that he may not be able to take negative comments that his work may generate. In my case, criticisms are welcome. I know why erasers were invented. It’s because nobody’s perfect.
People may read or disregard what I write. If they do read, a million thanks. If not, well…that’s life.
I may have received some good comments from my friends for some works I made in the past. But of course, those comments may have been either meritorious or simply generous. Sometimes there are people who give positive comments.
But aside from good comments some of my works have angered some individuals who in one way or another were offended. Writing sometimes is a magnet of trouble. I remember quite well when I wrote a satirical poem in Filipino (about a wolf in sheep’s clothing) when I was still working in a Catholic college. The priest who felt alluded to reportedly asked the Sister-President of the college to summon me to the latter’s office so he could talk to me. However he was dissuaded from pursuing his request. The priest never bugged me again but I wrote another poem for him (Habit and Habit).
My quatrains are the ones that brought me some colorful moments. I have lost a friend or two (or is it three…perhaps more) for the quatrains I have posted in a social networking site. I once wrote a quatrain and a friend liked it. Almost a year later, I re-posted the same quatrain and surprisingly the same person who previously liked it was angered and gave me a mouthful. Worse, that person’s better half joined the fray and considered me an enemy. I just charged that one to experience.
So, why do I write then?
It’s hard to explain. It’s something like why do people need to eat when they are hungry… why do they need to drink when they are thirsty… why do they need to take medicine when they are sick.
There is a kind of hunger within me that only writing can satisfy. There’s an insatiable thirst in my soul that would go away only when I read the verses I write.
I suffer from a kind of a disease that will be cured only when I write in sentences or verses the equivalent words of the thoughts and feelings that drown my being during quiet nights. Writing has some kind of a tranquilizing effect on me.
I must release my pain, anger and disagreement by writing about them or else they will haunt me endlessly. When I feel wronged I have to respond, not by violent means. I respond in a creative manner…through satirical poems. I do it using anthropomorphism.
I just don’t keep quiet when I notice human follies, especially if displayed by my friends. Again I resort to anthropomorphism. I use animals to represent their irrationalities. It may hurt them and make them angry but the truth may be bitter but sweeter than the sweetest lie. VERO NIHIL VERIUS. Nothing is truer than the truth.
Pain is like a prison cell. It is by writing that I break free from it. As my heart churns out the words I go through the pain, not escape from it. And as I write the final sentence or verse the pain vanishes.
Even my happiness and satisfaction wouldn’t be complete if I do not write about them. I need to capture in either prose or poetry those moments so I can feel more deeply the joy they bring. I do write about them so I can relive those moments any time I wish to.
I write not to impress but rather to express my thoughts, feelings and ideals. Writing is my freedom…my happiness.
I need neither material rewards nor accolades for what I write. The poems, essays and stories I create are themselves the rewards.
I don’t write to satisfy anybody’s standards. I write because I want to. As simple as that.
SCRIBO, ERGO SUM. I write, therefore I am.