Why do I write?

You’d think that would be an easy question to answer given its personal nature and yet my mind goes blank.

Why do I write?

It’s not usually something I plan to do—I don’t sit down at a desk and say to myself, “okay, it’s time to write.” In fact, I hate writing. It’s stressful and time consuming. It keeps me up at odd hours with its refusal to let my mind rest. It makes me short-tempered and anti-social, buried deep in my own thoughts as I usually am. It drives me crazy. The Muse has no concept of appropriate, whether it comes to time or subject matter, or of just how hectic the life of an average, everyday human being can be; doubly so for a student.

No, the Muse is only concerned with snatching up all of my time and attention—whatever little I have left at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, I also love writing. It’s cleansing. It frees up my mind. It’s a creative outlet for when I can’t find any other way to express myself. It allows for me to arrange my thoughts in such a way that they make sense—like connecting the dots and finally seeing a concrete image. I find that I’m better on paper than I am in person, and so writing is also an excellent means of communication. It connects me to writers like myself. It keeps my mind busy when I don’t want to think of other things.

I write because I can. I have the leisure to do so (sometimes) and it’s something that I ultimately enjoy despite our love-hate relationship. I write because there is a lack. If it hasn’t been done, I try to do it. I push the boundaries of my imagination as far as they will go. I write because I’m fascinated by language—spoken or written. I love the way letters work together to create words, words work together to create sentences, and so on. Sprinkle in tone and context and words can mean different things entirely.

I write fiction. Fantasy, usually, though I dabble in slice-of-life if I’m in a mood. I write of dragons and dungeons; witches and wizards; hexes and curses; true love and the foolishness of young lovers. I write about adventure and conquest. Sometimes, I write about grand battles and the generations of strife that lead up to them. I write about what I know. I draw from what I’ve seen and read and experienced first- hand. I add my own twist so that they’re a little less mundane, a little more attention-grabbing. I also write about things that I know nothing of. I’ve never travelled cross-country, but the dragon slayer in one story has. I’ve never broken a bone in my fragile human body, but my characters have known true agony.

I write because I dislike the sound of my own voice.

A wise man once wrote to me—“Why do I write? Such a stupid question. Why do fish swim?” He made it seem as though writing is, much like breathing, necessary and instinctive— not just something someone can learn.

And I agree.