Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#WhyIWrite for the 23rd Century and Some Kind of Genetic Compulsion

So, today was the National Day on Writing. I participated in an event for it at work, and observed the hashtag #WhyIWrite on Twitter today.

There are simply a lot of answers to why I write, and what I wrote on Twitter is kind of cliche: Because I have no choice.

I remember at a very early age wanting to write because that was how I knew I would be remembered after death. I saw that as my legacy. I wanted to write because I wanted people to know I was here. I had been here. I've always thought of myself as writing to future generations, because I always read books from the past as having been written for me.

It seemed so obvious to me. Why would you NOT write? Why didn't everyone write? If I'm being honest, that's something I still don't understand! =P Writing is a time capsule: evidence of our existence. When I write, I picture a future human, a cyborg, or an alien reading and relating to my work. Maybe thousands of years after I am dead. Maybe millenia after humanity is dead. Yes, I definitely watched too much Star Trek as a kid (or maybe everybody should?)

But, also, like I said, I write because I can't seem to stop. Even before I knew how to read and write, I was making up stories and dictating them. It was just something I did. Something I never considered not doing, something I never thought about how I knew how to do it. I have some kind of genetic compulsion toward narrative communication, specifically in written symbols, but I'll improvise if I have to. I feel like it's "written" in our bones. At least in mine.

Even though I have a long history of disliking and not reading poetry (which is now changing), I still wrote a ton of it. Not because I wanted to. I just couldn't stop.

And though both of these feelings have been innate in me as long as I can remember, there are two author quotes I've more recently come across that most accurately encapsulate my feelings:

"You should only become a writer if the possibility of not becoming one would kill you." -Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Annnnd, another one about being remembered after death that I can't find and it's driving me crazy! Please leave suggestions for what you think it could be and why do you write?

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