A few days ago, someone said to me, “Why are you wasting your time writing? What are you going to gain?” I wish I had a quick wit. I stood still, stuck to the floor, and let this person ramble. This person sniggered and continued, “It is not that you are going to get published.”
For days I pondered and had discussions with myself. Actually, it is a good question. Why does anyone write? There are many external movies: money, fame, ego boost, confidence. . .But what gets anyone started?
If that person asks me again, I would say that I write because I want to understand motives of other human beings and myself. Like Hercule Poirot, I am fascinated with “the study of human nature.”
I began jotting down my thoughts around the time I started talk therapy. It was an interesting process. To all my queries my therapist would say, “How did that make you feel?” In my scribbling and in my therapy, I would just list down all the facts and relate the events. I never paid attention to my feelings; I never analyzed why I did what I did; I never dwelled into ‘feelings;’ life was always about survival.
I find that writing about my life helps me self-examine. I see the reasons I decided on a certain path. Also, while writing, I find that I have to explain (to the readers), what made me say or do something, why I behaved the way I behaved, and why I chose a particular path. While writing, I discovered that behind my every why-and-what, there were my emotions. Unknowingly, at least to me, my so-called logical decisions were guided by my emotions. This is enough reason to write. Isn’t it?
I have written very few, fiction pieces; I call them my experiments. I find that fiction helps me realize that my characters’ every action must have a reason(s) for their choice. That like every real life human, fiction characters have emotions. Fiction writing helps me see, understand, and explore the psychology of real human beings. In fiction, I always question: would these characters behave this way in real life? Or I am creating a super extraordinary being? Understating the character’s psyche helps me navigate the reasons of their motives. At times, I am able to base the fictional characters on real life people. Sometimes, in fiction writing, I am able to take the real life characters and make them act the way I wished they acted in real life. This is enough reason to write. Isn’t it?
I am unsure all my reasons are original, but it is the way I feel. So, I want to say to the person who questioned my reasons for writing, “Hey you, don’t read what I write. Go live in a hole and don’t experience life.” But I know I will never do that. But if I meet that person again, I will just say that I write because it makes me happy.