The night before last I really didn’t get any sleep at all. The following morning it was results day for everyone at High School – I zombie-shifted to the falafel shop to the sound of kids screeching around Um Al Summaq blowing their car horns. It felt like nails on a chalk board. If I had been sleeping, they definitely would have woken me up. I got some fruit. As usual, they overcharged me. I didn’t like myself or the hazy headache inducing place around me. All i knew is i had to write.
At home the electricity in half the house had broken. The internet basically wasn’t working. I really couldn’t think. I went to Costa Coffee in City Mall to get a coffee, use the wireless, and try to write. It didn’t work. So I moved to Caribou Coffee in Mecca Mall. It wasn’t as hot but people were talking. I just gave up and went home. The flat was boiling. But still, I wrote.
And that got me thinking… why do people write? Novelists, philosophers and journalists have all had a crack at answering the question, with reasons ranging from the mundane to the profound.
But no one’s every really cracked it, as far as i know.
Which in turn got me wondering who asked the question in the first place? Maybe the writer’s are the normal ones? Why wouldn’t anyone want to write? Why didn’t everyone write? I came up with the following:
- They have no time
- They have nothing to say
- They don’t know what they think
- They’re afraid of what they really think
- There’re embarrassed
- The things they really want to say they can’t
- It’s hard to keep it up
- There’re intimidated by pedants who complain about grammar, or misspelling etc
- They don’t think there’re clever enough – “it’s not me”
- They’re too busy making money
- They prefer talking
- Who would listen?
- They love writing, but they keep it all hidden: “what if I got rejected” or “people saw another side of me”
- Other writers got there first, and did it better. No point trying.
- The masses and publishers would never “get it”
- “No one reads anymore”
- People think you’re weird
- Writing is for girls
- Too much time watching movies and playing video games
- What will my friends & family think?
The list isn’t exhaustive, but it does highlight one point very clearly. The reasons people don’t write are all pretty silly. People don’t write from fear, laziness and the misplaced belief that they have nothing to say.
People should write.