Why We Read and Write

Why do you write? It is the age-old question; one that offers a multitude of answers both in depth and quantity. But, really, why do you write? Why do I write? In the very first post I published here, I said that the reason I started a blog was because of that voice inside my head that kept on saying that “I must write.”

Lately, though I haven’t been religiously posting publicly, I’ve been letting the thought brew. We all know why we read: to gain knowledge/insights, to escape from stress and our real-world problems, and to entertain ourselves with other people’s stories are just some of the many reasons why.

But why do we write? Is it because we expect others to read it? Or is it because we simply want to vent? While there are inexhaustible reasons and motives, there is one unifying commonality, if not a key reason why:

If according to CS Lewis “we read to know that we are not alone,” then surely we write to share our voice, but sharing the voice does not end there. In fact, that voice then is either passed on or provokes another voice to speak up.

In depth, the author’s voice binds the reader, the piece, and the author herself in a triad-like structure of a relationship. To be more specific, while the author can be considered the “biological parent”, the reader then is the co-parent or adoptive one, both nurturing the “written piece.” The nurturing begins when the author creates her work and it continues each time a reader picks up that work and interprets/reads it. Sometimes, the reader and author agree, and at times, they disagree. When the disagreement arises, then a new interpreted or deconstructed piece is born. So yes, think of it as a recurring cycle, giving birth to varied understandings and interpretations.

So, now, I may have digressed partially, if not entirely, and this short blurb is my “baby.” It is now up to you, dear reader, to agree or disagree.

3 thoughts on “Why We Read and Write

  1. Thought provoking. In all honesty I write simply because it feels good. Writing is like a magic pill – it sifts through experiences that otherwise might have lurked for all eternity in dusty corners of my mind. Writing is therapy – the place I figure things out.

  2. I like your analogy of the biological parent. I think once the writer has published a piece of writing there is no further “ownership,” except in the copyright sense; it becomes the reader’s. The author, no matter what he or she intended, has forfeited ownership and responsibility to the reader.

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