Creativity Magazine

Why I Do What I Love…

Posted on the 22 April 2013 by Rjnielsen039 @RobertJ_Nielsen

I was recently asked by an acquaintance why I am always carrying around and writing in spiral notebooks. The only real answer I had was that I never knew when a light bulb might shine above my head, and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity. With that I walked away and left this acquaintance with a perplexed look on her face. I probably should have explained in further detail to her, but the question led me to an idea for a new post, so here it is;

Why do I write?

This is essentially a simple question. The problem with answering it is that there are nearly countless responses that I could give in return, each more in depth than the last. I’m going to attempt to give a few of the most important reasons, the answers that really stand out, and do so in a way that simplifies them for everyone.

First and foremost, I write because I enjoy it. To me it is fun to see a blank page, or word processor document fill (first gradually, then rapidly) with ink or pixels. I can’t stand the way my hand and wrist cramp up, or the way my eyes hurt and I get a headache from staring at a monitor, but I don’t even notice these things until I’m finished, and can put the pen/pencil down, or save and close the document. It’s my workout. It’s the pain an athlete feels after a practice match. It irritates me to no end, yet in a sick way, it feels good. It lets me know I’ve done something productive.

I love to express myself. Writing is a gateway to the deeper part of me that the rest of the world doesn’t normally get to see. Outwardly, I’m a fairly relaxed, loud, and outgoing guy. You know, the kind of guy who’s always telling jokes (usually one too many), and never seems to have a problem approaching a complete stranger and kindling a conversation. Yet that’s not really me. That’s mostly a facade that I’ve just gotten used to over the years, a layer I hardly notice any more until I’m alone with my notebooks and computer. Inside my head, my heart, and my soul, I’m quiet, contemplative, and philosophical. My writing is a way for me to not only project that part of my self, but to understand it as well. It gives me a chance to literally look at a thought, or an idea, and mull it over. I’m often surprised at how my perspective or opinion of something may change after I’ve written about it, almost as if I am giving myself the chance to see things from the outside.

Part of being a secret introvert is that I don’t really get to make many “deep” or “real” connections with a lot of people. Writing gives me the opportunity to do just that. I guess it may be that whole “internet anonymity” aspect, but it allows myself (and millions of others) the chance to break the mold, step out of our shells and bubbles, and be who we really are without fear of judgment. I can connect with people all over the globe, whom I may have never had the chance, or even the guts to otherwise. It also gives me the chance to try and teach somebody else something new, and to hopefully open their mind. I’m not saying that I want to convert everyone to my way of thinking. I just want to help more people open their hearts, and their minds to the fact that the way that they see reality isn’t the only way, just as I try to make myself do constantly. I want people to ask more questions. They say that there are no stupid questions, and that may be true, but it’s also definitely true that the more questions you ask, the more you are likely to ask the right questions.

Another large reason I write, and why I absolutely love writing fiction, is the ability to paint a picture with nothing but words. When I read a well written novel, short story, or poem, it is almost as if I can feel the wind in the trees, smell the roasted meats, or squint at the bright sunlight. Words can transport us to a whole new setting, one that when in the moment, our brains can’t properly tell us that we’re not actually there. When I write fiction, it gives me a chance to flex my imagination and creativity. The more I do so, the better at it I get, just like with anything else. The better I get at it, the more I want to d it. It is a beautiful cycle.

Lastly, I feel that we are all alive for a reason. We are here to experience. I know that last sentence is technically a sentence fragment, but I don’t think it can ever honestly be more. Actually, I feel that is MUST remain the fragment that it is, because it sums up the essential truth of life as I see it. We are here to experience. We experience love, lust, anger, and the other emotions. We experience family, friends, and enemies. We experience higher learning, and simpler lifestyles. We experience life’s highs, and lows, our dreams and ambitions, and our shortcomings. Everything from religion, to particle physics, from the light of the sun, to the yellow in a child’s drawing, we are here to experience. This gives us the simple fact that every person has a story to tell, unique and individual from any other. I write to share my own story, at least the parts I choose to.

That’s why I write. Well, to be fair, that’s a portion of why I write, but I eventually have to go to sleep so that I’m rested for work tomorrow, and you don’t want to read an entire textbook about the reasons I wrote it, so I will do us both a favor and call this as good as it gets.

Before I click save, and publish this post, I want to ask you a question though;

What is is that you do, and why do you do it? Let me know, I’m a naturally curious person!

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