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Why We Write

It feels true to me that we write primarily for ourselves, whether it’s poetry, prose, a script for stage or screen, music or commercial copy. We are ultimately the ones to satiate and to fulfil; we will read it (repeatedly, during its creation and editing), listen to it (I call it “singing practice,” but, let’s be honest), or be subject to its repercussions once released into the world.

Artists must create. We dwell within the energies of imagination, potentiality, unknowns, the unexpected and the revolutionary; outside of time, across dimensions and between realities.

A story, screenplay or novel, may essentially represent an expansive diary, or journal entry. Authors create characters, plots, story arcs and thematic elements, based on what they know — I presume… it would seem to me that writing otherwise would be patently superficial and transparent. They paint vast landscapes, unveil emotions, or detail intricate technology with mere words. Naturally, writing at this scale and volume can afford us a multi-lane highway for delving deeply into psychological, emotional, philosophical and ideological exploration. Our books should be littered with our learned and practiced wisdom; our inner contrasts, conflicts and contradictions; our perspectives on the world.

A good story, fiction or not, is inherently human; it is organic, provoking, relatable, entertaining, challenging — and maybe even thrilling.

I write to experiment with words and to see if I might successfully expound on something that worries me, interests me, stimulates me, or pisses me off. The synthesis of information and ideas from numerous sources — coupled or blended with going about the everyday and largely mundane — eventually builds to a tipping point of inspiration that will ideally result in something interesting and worth sharing. Ultimately, my aim is to write that which is evergreen, something that will be useful well beyond me. Oftentimes, if I have the means before me, an insight, observation or idea will flourish and develop quite rapidly, spilling out into the medium at my fingertips. These particular moments feel the most natural and genuine, results of an unadulterated flow.

I’ve composed hundreds of songs yet have “finished” and published only a small percentage of them. Sometimes, I feel sad and guilty about that. Similarly, many articles never get past the initial insight or partially-baked impulse. That’s a natural part of the process; perhaps not everything needs to be explored in full — or the idea requires more research, life experience, or practical usefulness (ie. less opinion, more substance) that will summon the creative forces necessary to see it through.

Our why is always the most meaningful way to move the world. Our unique perspectives might just reach into the hearts and minds of unsuspecting wanderers-by, initiating a process of self-awareness or discovery, a momentary repose or distraction, or even a paradigm shift in collective consciousness. Your brave and daring expression — that may have been a stubborn beast, demanding your blood, sweat and tears to finally tame — could become a timeless addition to the vast and ever-increasing stores of human knowledge, wisdom and lore… though it may not even be noticed for a generation, or a hundred years.

Dive in. Create it for yourself. Give it to the world.

Solvitur ambulando