Why Do I Write?

As a kid, everyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Once we arrive at university though, the general consensus seems to be that no one has any idea what they want to be. Any job you end up doing is helping at least one another person in some way. Choosing a job is deciding how you can help others in the best, most enjoyable way. We all work together. For each other. And can find meaning in that. So naturally I feel like writing will be the most enjoyable way for me to help others…but why? It is the catalyst to voice my thoughts and ideas. It allows me to communicate and engage with others, as well as potentially entertain. Speaking of entertainment, I usually think in movie and TV show quotes. And this is one, from Picard on Star Trek, is what I have used to choose a job path that I’ll enjoy.

‘We work to better ourselves and the whole of humanity’.

Idealistic I know, that’s a general tone I have. So I’ve thought of this quote as a guide. My issue has been that I have too many ideas. I want to be a writer, a filmmaker, an astronomer, a teacher, a journalist, an editor, a philosopher, a politician, a policy writer, work for the United Nations, a member of an international charity, a chef, a public speaker, an activist.  How best can I better myself and the whole of humanity? All these options and one life to live. Despite this existential crisis, the days keep going and we choose one or the other for a myriad of reasons. As I’ve recently learned, some focus goes a long way. By choosing to write, I am focused. And in a sense I am choosing all of them, by being able to write about anything I want, by putting words to a page.

Writing (as well as reading and watching) stories allows me to create and experience the fantasy of living another life. To imagine and play in a life that I won’t be able to live; just as we did as kids. This is why writing has come to the front of my interests. Writing is so open ended, so many opportunities to explore and engage every topic and interest; be them frivolous or serious. Doing so is rewarding and therapeutic to me. Even if no one reads my personal journal it helps me condense and collect my thoughts. Not to mention with every piece of writing I do I get a little bit better at it. It improves me, and I hope others can benefit in some way from my writings as well.

Simply put I write because it can be what I need it to be.

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