A friend recently posted a question: “Why do you write?” Here is a copy of my reply. What about you? Why do you write?
When I meditate, I let go of my attachment to follow the would-be train of thoughts. But the sensations that could be thoughts do not cease, and are quelled not for long.
I can relax my breathing a hold my breath for moments, but when I go about the day, my mind and breathing diverge.
I can let my heart slow its tempo, but hopefully it does not stop for many years to come.
I can hold my tongue for hours, or possibly be silent for days. But soon I will end up singing, or crying, or laughing, or speaking.
When I cannot find a pen, pencil, or keyboard the words from my hands never cease for long. Writing is not merely a desire. It is a need. It is an inalienable duty of my mind and body to write, whether spelling words with my hands or feet in the air, forming written words and symbols within my mind. But before long I will caress any surface with letters and words, or write and draw in the dirt or sand. I forage for paper or cullable photons and search for a pen, pencil, or willing layer of light beneath the glass. It is an undeniable need. I must write, for the thoughts and stories, the code and poems, the software written in the wind, bubbles up from my very core and percolates through my soul. If I were to try not to write, the pressure would build up and drive me mad.
I write because I must. To not write is a kind of death of the spirit and the mind. To write is an inalienable right.