Having not had opportunities to write to my satisfaction for a few weeks, I thought about writing and why I write. I realize that besides fiction and thinking, there’s more to it. Being the pedantic beast I am — and trying to understand it all for myself — here it is.
I write to understand. I’ve not fully understood that until recently. I often go inside myself to think, delving into deep thinking. Deep thought is used about relationships, analysis of events, and, critically, fiction writing. It’s about the pursuit of ideas, directions and outcomes. It’s often a chase.
I can go so far into deep thought before turning to drawing, or more frequently, writing. Writing forces me to crystallize structure and organization. That exercise results in clarity.
Beyond that simplistic structure, there’s also my writing about my dreams. I dream a great deal when I sleep. The dreams intrigue me more than they aggravate me. I always wonder if I’m trying to tell myself something, or something — someone — is informing me, or warning me. I write to remember and hunt for meanings. Of course, I believe my memories of my dreams are faulty. I suspect I embellish them to fill the vacuum.
I’m also trying to understand myself, to strip away emotions and preconceptions and question my motivation and reactions, hopefully resulting in growth. My writing, too, is about recognizing how I was, what has changed, and what didn’t change. Writing is about struggling with my flaws, conceits, self-confidence and insecurities.
I write to entertain myself. When I was a child and teenager, I often drew. Besides still life settings and contour drawings, abstracts and portraits in pencils, charcoal, water colors, oils and acrylics, I designed star ships, cities, forts, cars, aircraft, whatever volunteered to take root in my mind. I had sheaves of results. Eventually, stories became associated with each drawing. I didn’t start writing any of them until years later. It never occurred to me that I could write fiction. Some will claim, I still can’t.
But I’ve envisioned settings, characters, plot and situations. I enjoy the deep thinking necessary to mine and understand these stories. I can do that in my mind’s confines, but to fully enjoy and realize them, I must write. That allows me to refine the stories and their elements, which makes them more satisfying, because now I can enjoy them as a reader.
Sometimes I write a poem because the words come to me. Those are usually inspired by another’s blog post. I write to inform others of my goofiness, too, like my catfinitions.
I write to remember. My memories remain powerful. Their veracity is likely questionable. That’s the beauty of emails and blog posts. Keep enough of them and organize them, and it’s stunning how flawed my memory can be. Still, I enjoy peering into memories’ corridors to see what the light finds. For myself, I find looking back helps me find balance and look forward.
I also write to affirm knowledge. Part of how I learn is to attempt to express what I think I’ve learned into my words. That forces that clarification of thinking I earlier mentioned.
I write to rant, whine and complain. I do a great of this, I know. I really am a whiny, petulant person. Politics aggravate me. Poor customer service infuriates me. Abuse of other people and animals anger me. Lies, falsehood and fake news sickens me. The lack of critical thinking or applied intelligence appalls me. Mindless acceptance and worship horrifies me. War and violence shock me. Greed and selfishness wearies me.
So I write to relieve myself of these feelings. Once released, I can go on. I post them; others can read them, if they’re inclined, but by writing them instead of verbally complaining, I believe I’m doing a kindness of sparing others from hearing my ranting, whining and complaining.
I write to thank others and support them. Reading of the tragedies that pockmark our global existence and history, I’m frequently reminded how fortunate I am so far as the sperm lottery goes. Others have endured horrors that I can read of and imagine, but life and the fates have always steered me around them. I try to support those who have endured and are attempting to move on. I try to help the exhausted, sick and injured, but my own tanks are not very deep. They empty fast and seem to take time to refill.
I write to find my tribe. By writing and posting, I discover others like me, and they discover me. We can usually get along with others, but they’re not driven to explore and understand themselves and existence but writing about it. Others often don’t understand that passion. So when I write and post, I’m putting up a light, “Hey, writer, here I am.”
I’m thankful to those who read and press the like button. I know I’m not alone. I’m thankful for the comments that pop up, and the shared experiences.
All in all, writing is about coping with who I am, who I think I am, how I appear to others, and who I want to be. Once again, I’m handicapped by my limited intelligence and education from expressing myself more deeply, intelligently and accurately. But again, writing is an effort to expand and stay in motion.
Most of all, tritely, writing is about my flawed existence.