Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why we write

I think I was sixteen when I went to Paris for the very first time. Somewhere around Montmartre, I found a postcard that touched a chord inside me, so I bought it and took it home. It's on the wall above my desk as I write and I still wonder that this little piece of yellowed cardboard has survived my seventeen or more moves and all these years, but even more astonishing is that chord inside me. It still hums whenever I look at it.

Translated, it says, "When asked "Why do you write?", the answer of the poet will always be the shortest: To have a better life." St. John Peoje

That's just what I feel. That's why I write.

When I write, I feel my soul expand. I travel away in time and space, disappear into another world, and when I appear again, sometimes, it feels as if I had been away for a trip over the weekend. It gives me a satisfaction I find nowhere else. When life gets hectic, and I don't get to write for a longer period of time, I feel that need building up inside me, that craving to get back to my keyboard or notebook, to get a pen in hand, to shut off the world, and to unburden myself, to free my soul. It's a solitude I need to replenish my inner being.

Yes, of course there are times when I have to drag myself to my desk. There are times when rejections hit me, when life gets in the way, and when this precious feeling gets lost. But I know it will come back eventually. Because I'm a writer, no matter what. Someone once said to me, "If you're a writer, writing is not an option. It's a necessity." That's it in a nutshell.

You don't have to be a writer of novels to feel this way; a diary can have the same effect on you. Now I wonder. Do you feel like that when you write?


  1. Yes, I feel the same way. I remember you from the Avalon listserve. :)

  2. I do, Beate. During those times when I cannot write, I feel the buildup of pressure, too. I never used to recognize it, though, as words needing to be released until this last year. It does amaze me how doing the writing can relieve that feeling of pressure.

  3. Hi Jillian, thanks for your comment! Yes, I'm still on the Avalon loop and enjoying the friendship among all the great authors there!
    Grace, it's so good to know that other authors feel the same. Unfortunately, editing and translating and marketing the novels doesn't have the same effect. ;-)