Why I write? This is not only a personal question but encompasses the questioning eye of society. It is a question that has always struck and stirred my definition of writing. So the answer to it cannot be one, but many according to the person who raises the question.
Writing is what I am today
On a personal level, my writing has moved through various phases, from school assignments to secret diary writing; from small poems during the bad phase of life to important published write-ups. Each level of my writing had entirely different and often contradictory definitions. When I started writing, it was only to gain marks in school assignments. Slowly, I shifted to diaries and notebooks. But, there was always a secret desire that maybe someone will ‘mistakenly’ see my diary and appreciate me for my writing.
Until then, writing was only a secret talent of a nerd science student, which required recognition from others. It was only a recreational activity, like an hour’s break for TV, after which I had to jump back into reality. My parents, teachers who were more career-oriented always posed this question; Why do I write? For them, the reality of my writing was that it is only an imagination.
When I started writing, it was only to gain marks in school assignments. Slowly, I shifted to diaries and notebooks.
I had no perfect answer to the question of why I write, except that I liked it. My writings on the backside of my science notebook ironically showed a child not interested in studies yet eager to learn a lot. It was then that it became the voice of my repressed desires that always wanted to play with ink and words.
The hidden poems in the scribbles of notebooks became my medium of self-expression. It was those scribbles that clearly differentiated the reality and performance in my life. Those words written to question the impossibility of defining my desire and passion became the mirror of my true self. Today, writing is no longer a want for appreciation or a cry of a caged bird. It is now in the first pages of all my notebooks, the wallpaper of my laptop and my life. Writing is what I am today. It defines my identity, choices and priorities.
Why I Write? To know the answer
But, I would still not say that this is why I write. Maybe my little document on how writing became a top priority in my life is an answer to the question that caged my early levels of writing. It shows that writing for me is defining myself, and hiding it in scribbles was like masquerading as what I wasn’t. When I think about the question from where I stand today, a literature graduate, I have no fixed answer to why I write. Yes, it is for self-expression as I have always pictured myself as a writer. But, what next?
Writing has given me my identity. It has given voice to not only my dreams but also my views in society. But writing has also gifted me with this never-ending quest for answers and meanings.
Self-expression was only the first stop of a very long journey. After practically applying writing in my life, much beyond self-expression, it also has a responsibility for collective expression. Writing cannot be related to a single person only. The words, format and the content automatically connect it with time and society. Even this documentation of defining writing for myself is not an end in itself. It reflects the picture of the society I belong to and becomes a voice for many writers scribbling in their notebooks today. Certainly, writing has given me my identity. It has given voice to not only my dreams but also my views in society. But writing has also gifted me with this never-ending quest for answers and meanings. The various criticisms on writing, new views and formats keep pushing the edges of defining the act of writing. The major reason why I continue to write is perhaps to know Why I Write.
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.