Why Write

I have often wondered what drives a person to write, and more to the point, why I write.  On occasion I have examined my need to write in my own poetry and prose.  ”Why Write” came about not long after I began reading my poetry a loud at the Salisbury Art Centre Poetry Café and one of the audience members asked me why I wrote.  I have been asked this question a number of times over the years and as all the others at this time I wasn’t able to come up with an adequate answer.  The question rattled around in my head for quite some time after the latest asking until I was driven to write “Why Write”.


Someone asked me once “Why do you write?”  I couldn’t answer them, I simply didn’t know, decades of prolific work spanned out before me and I didn’t know?  Now time has marched on and that question still rings within my ears begging for an answer to be told.

Why do I unfold the tortured soul out upon the page, why is the written word the only way to vent my rage?  Why does my heartache court my prose, why here that my constant quest for wisdom only ever told?

How come the words always seem to fit, the sentences to knit and then follows truth, spinning out this epic tale of a woman named Ruth?

When you read my words what do they speak to you, what dark secrets do they unearth that you never knew?  Where do you go as you close your eyes and my prose washes over you?  What light do they leave in your heart as they wipe away the stain of my unending fear?

I know now why I write, a part of me has always known, but so simple an answer too inconceivable to be the whole truth.

I write because I must, because to not to is to deny my whole.  I write because I breathe, because to not to is not a choice.  I write because writing is simply who I am, because poetry runs as surely as blood through these veins.

My words, my constant companions until the moment I cease to breathe, their existence testament to this life and the thoughts in my head.  May they live long in the hearts and minds of other when I am finally just dust and dead.

Ruth Weal 19 Sept 2005 9.35 pm
© Copyright R Weal 2005

Related articles from other bloggers

Provoking Thought by Ryan S Fortney on his blog Paxcorpus
Creativity – Where is the on switch? by V. Furnas on her blog Life 4 Me By Me

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17 Responses to Why Write

  1. Rehan Qayoom on October 2, 2010 at 1:07 am

    As for me, it is certainly not I that writes. But that somebody who is the bane of my yesterdays who speaks from within. I compose my poetry in a dreamy stupor in a visionary state, in dreams not when awake. I wake up and write down what I can recall.

    • wealie on October 2, 2010 at 3:21 am

      I go into a trance like state when I’m writing poetry, sometimes I’m not aware of anything else around me, everything closes down and it’s just me and my pen and paper or the keyboard and screen. It’s amazing how you can lose hours of time that way. I rarely have a dream that I write up though. Mainly things percolate around in the subconscious for an indeterminable time and bubble up to the surface when they are ready to be born. I certainly can’t write if I’m not moved to, the same goes with the photo editing and painting. I haven’t written much poetry for the last year or so, been more into the painting. It goes that way sometimes, the muse leads and the artist must follow!

  2. Chrystal on December 8, 2010 at 3:02 am

    I love this post. I actually wrote my own “why I write” type article some months back. I wonder what makes people ask the question “Why do you write?” and when I do get asked that, my reply is usually rather cheeky when asking them wy they do whatever it is they do for a living. I write because I love words, because I have something to say. I write because if I don’t pour my words out someplace it is very likely my brain will explode. (not really, but I feel that way). When I write poetry I tend to be extremely dark and depressing. My other work may not be all sunshine and rainbows, but it is mine.

    • wealie on May 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Chrystal, we’re like birds of feather. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  3. Tabitha the KnittingJourneyman on December 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    “Ditto” just won’t work here…but when you break my writing down to basics, my reasons are quite similar to yours: I write because I must, because if I didn’t I might just explode from the lack of outlet.

    • wealie on May 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Tabitha nice to know I’m not the only one with the explosive urge to write!

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  7. Barbara Hart on July 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    It is my choice to write. I write to lift up the hearts of others and it is my hope to be an inspiration to the readers of my words. There are so many of us that go through day to day life in hopes of hearing a kind word to touch us deep down in our souls, my words are there for them if they choose to read them.

    • wealie on July 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comment Barbara. I’m glad that writing is such a wonderful experience that you can share with others.

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  10. Nicole on July 14, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I love this post. “Why do I write?” For me, I have to say it has everything to do with…just loving the power of a story. I love how a really good book or a really good poem can envelope you and take you away from the current world you are living in. I love books that give me an escape, yet I still love books that require me to think. I love writing because I want to do that. THAT. I want to give the reader an escape where they forget where they are and then suddenly after they have finished the book, say, “Wow. I never left, after all.”

    • wealie on July 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Nicole thanks for your lovely comment. I think it’s great that you have such a passion for writing. I too love to escape into a good book, it’s one of my greatest passions in life.

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