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Thirteen Reasons Why I Write

“That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can’t control life, at least you can control your version.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Stranger than Fiction

October 20th is National Day on Writing, and one of the hashtags for this day is #WhyIWrite. I had a whole other post in progress initially for this day, a travel post keeping in mind my few previous travel Thursday posts. But then I recalled the date and this random holiday dedicated to writing! So I simply had to write about writing, or more about why I write!

Right from the time I could pick up paper and pen, I recall enjoying writing; be it simply practicing my cursive, or simply scribbling down some random words to make up something else; be it an essay for a contest or for the school magazine; or maybe simply words strung together simply so I could write something!

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Writers On Writing

I reviewed a book titled Why We Write a couple of years ago. To repeat myself, this book is a must-read for readers and writers alike, for so many reasons. Check out my thoughts on the book for yourself here.

George Orwell’s essay titled ‘Why I Write’ lists the following reasons for why he thinks all writers write:

  • sheer egoism
  • aesthetic enthusiasm
  • historical impulse
  • political purpose

You can read his whole essay at the Orwell Foundation’s website.

Joan Didion wrote an article with the same title, starting off her article by stating that she stole the title from George Orwell! She points out at the beginning that these three words have the same sound in them: the “I” sound – Why I Write – each of these three words carry the sound I to make for a repeated – I I I when we say them out loud. Her article is a must-read on writing and on being a writer, so be sure to read it for yourself at Lithub.

But I digress from the title of this post, so let me move on to listing 13 of the many reasons

Why I Write

Why 13? Because “Thirteen reasons why” why; and I keep recalling the Thursday 13 meme I link to occasionally, or rather, seldom (and the writers there I love to read!); and lastly, simply because 13 seems to be a good-enough number for a list (not too small and not too much). Like a “Goldilocks right” kind of list. I have written similar posts before (here and here) and this list will have some overlaps with those, since they all talk about the same thing.

Anyway, here they are (definitely neither a comprehensive list nor a “top thirteen” one, but 13 of them anyways):

  1. I write because I don’t think I cannot not write
  2. Writing makes me happy
  3. To forget and and not to(forget, I mean) as well
  4. I write to learn, and to share what I learned
  5. Writing helps me put things in perspective
  6. and helps me muddle things delightfully (or not)
  7. To reinvent myself
  8. and to discover who I really am
  9. Writing lets me expand my world
  10. and helps condense it to words on a page
  11. I write to travel in time and space
  12. and to strengthen my roots in place
  13. Simply because…. I need to….

And of course, as a young girl (well, even now), I loved getting those beautiful stationary sets and books to write in, as well as that beloved Hero ink pen (now replaced by other kind of beautiful pens and pencils). Jus some more reasons…

a woman's hand holding a pencil over a paper with the words 'Why I Write'

Related Reads

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, now that you have read my reasons for writing, which of those do you think fall in sync with how or what I write, from a reader’s perspective? I know, a question that requires some thought!! Sorry about that.. But for something more straightforward, why do you write? Or what is your ‘why’ for whatever you enjoy doing the most?

9 thoughts on “Thirteen Reasons Why I Write

  1. I love writing too! I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. I think it’s a great way to express yourself and connect with others. That is one of the reasons I wanted to host the Ultimate Blog Challenge – to get me to continue to write and help others too.

  2. OK, here is my time to write.
    When I read your opening quote it reminded me that driving through life while looking in the rearview mirror is not the best plan.
    Blog on!

  3. I love reading others’ writings on why they write. I concur with “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” By Joan Didion. Then I remember that Stephen King’s book On Writing was much tooted. I had it out from the library once but never read most of it. But remembering now, I’ve just reserved it again to refresh my mind.

  4. Love this post! Why I write depends on what I’m writing.

    For more than 40 years, I supported myself as an advertising copywriter (my career ends this month and I turn 65 next month). Short answers: I write to sell shit, or I write for a paycheck. Longer answer: I write to move my clients’ business along. I found satisfaction in using the creative to serve commerce.

    I use my blog like a diary. I write there to get it all down, to report it as I see and to examine how I felt it. It’s a word road map of who I am and who I have been.

    I write long, chatty letters and emails because you have to write ’em to receive ’em. I use my words to create and nurture ties with those I care about.

    November brings me to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). I try my hand at fiction because it takes my fantasies to another level and I end up learning so much about myself.

    Wow! Did you expect such a crazy wordy answer?

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