Why do you write?

You too have come across that, haven’t you? Perhaps, many times. And it is true for all of us who write.

Well, I’d have been less surprised if I wasn’t asked this. But ever since I started to write, this has been a point of conversation among few I know. Now here, I mean, those who do not write themselves; except for signing off bills or writing down bank cheques.

Just imagine, you meet someone down the aisle while shopping groceries. It is someone you must have met a decade ago. You don’t remember them that well, but are surprised nonetheless that they follow your blog and actually take the pains to read what you write. So you feel honored, you even start to fly with those invisible wings. But that is only so long and then they mention,

Never thought you’d end up writing. I always thought you were better off with your job in chemicals. Do you even get paid ?”

You had bloated up with pride, and it was as though someone had sucked the air right out of you.  Your face: a mixture of apprehension and anger. And as if that wasn’t enough,

“And quite honestly, who in the right mind would like to write? One can paint, dance, and sing. But writing? Isn’t it boring?

And then there are few who make it sound like some shit of a business. It does annoy me when there are traces of contempt dripping from their curious stinging words when they make it sound like – Why do you write? Rather than – ‘Why do you write?’

It’s instances like these when I feel like hurling something at them right at that moment. You know right away that they are pretending smart. They point fingers at you for something that you can do and they can’t. So they enjoy the moment when you stand fumbling, trying to explain your point even though you know that they are only going to laugh it out as a reward for your attempt. Worse even when some go as far as commenting sinfully, “…and there goes the writer”.

I wonder if that happens to you often. But ever since, I have started to blog, I have noticed people seemingly surprised at my interest in writing. They wonder why on earth someone would start to write. And had it been for just their expressions, I’d have thought I was mistaken, but to have their words fall on my ears, I can barely pretend that. I begin to think if something’s wrong with me or is the world in total turning mental.

I mean, okay, I might paint, I might not.
I might dance, I might not.
I might do anything else or I might not.
But the fact that I am doing none of those means I am NOT doing any of those.
Isn’t the world better off without my interests and habits to worry about?
And that’s not even the point.
Why should any job, any interest, any hobby or passion, be regarded degrading?
Why that scornful touch while talk? And why should it bother anyone why do I write?

Often, when I sit with my writing pad, my mother dearest, gets into one of her anti-writing moods. She’ll always have bizarre suggestions to make. Either I should learn to knit or maybe try some new recipe for dinner. After all, food and clothing count important; they also form the basic necessities of life. Since when did writing become any important? I wonder if I should even attempt to explain. So I just wriggle my way out somehow.

So, now-a-days, when someone asks me, “Why do you write?” I am tempted to argue. Tell them, I write because I know there is something I am bit well at. I am not the best. Not even close. But at least I am trying. I write because I know nothing else could have kept my scattered self collected, like those little bits of clay put together. The very many thoughts that jam my brain couldn’t have a home if not for writing.

Some prefer music, some pick oils. I chose words.
Maybe because I knew they could understand the complicated me better than anyone else.
It was my way of expressing me.
Reasoning with myself.
Discovering the paths not traced by anyone.
Contemplating the world, its people.
And do you always do whatever you do for money?
Writing might not pay me.
But who cares about money when it gives me immense satisfaction and peace, in ways more than I can ever count!

But I don’t. I choose silence. I prefer leaving them with themselves.
I love to see the confused demanding looks on their faces.

-Asha Seth

39 thoughts on “Why do you write?

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  1. Our anti-writing moms should catch up sometimes. They will have real fun time together. 😀
    It’s just we should keep our ears closed to avoid listening to any of their gossips. :p
    If I didn’t have my dad by my side, I probably would still be struggling with ‘What is my life’s purpose?’ But I am hopeful my mom will understand one day that ‘Why do I write?’
    The way you tackle people asking such questions is the best way one can opt for. 😉

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  2. I love this post. Exposing why we write has always been a fumbling task for us all so we can relate you. I began writing when I was 8 or so. My imagination ran wild and it still does till this day. I have to get then out of my head somehow. My advice to you is never let anyone tear you away from writing. I would have been a much better writer had I stuck with it all those discouraged years. Again, Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahahaha, I laughed so much reading this post. Almost the same thing happens with me all the time. It happened that I met a classmate somedays back. He came upto me and asked – bhai are you still writing or left it. Mujhe toh samajh hi nhi ata what you write. And I was standing there and saying han bhai, kabhi kabhi I do.
    But one more thing, I love to do all other things as well along with writing. I started writing in the first place just to give myself a place to retrieve myself and I am continuing for the same reason still. But yes, today there are many people who give me the feedback that feeds me.
    Thank you so much for this post Asha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I read this post after so long just to know what amused you so. Kidding!
      I love ranting sometimes. Doing it here avoids me look like the bad girl, which is how people judge you if you answer them straight, no flowery stuff. 😀 It’s a mad place. But at least we people are sane here, in a much saner world. What say?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, yes Asha I believe we are the better sanes than the ones out there roaming out in the open, they are a threat to us Asha. Haha
        And ranting is fun you see. People judge you anyway so why have our own way. Haha

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  4. I write because I like to use my imagination I have always been able to to that. Even when I was young I have been able to do that. It’s in my blood. I maybe unpublished but I am a writer at my core.

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  5. Shame on these people who are not nice about your writing. I usually only get good feedback about being a writer. Most people say to me that is a great profession or I wish I could write a book but I wouldn’t know where to start. They seem to admire the fact that I can write and wish they could. Bless them all. My dad does moan a bit about making more money from writing but I tell him all in good time, it will happen when it is meant to. Whenever I talk about writing, everyone can see in my eyes and facial expression, how much happier I am and how alive I become. I am like a completely different person, in a good way. I know I was born to write and that is great. I know it’s hard but I think instead of shying away from people, like your mum, stand proud of being a writer, say that it gives you pleasure, you feel satisfied and fulfilling through writing. That creative expression is a calming therapy for you and it is good for you. It makes you a good and better person as you can feel empathy for others. It is a great way of making friends and the best job in the world for you. If you are happy then I am sure she will be. If she is still in the same mood, ignore it. Be happy to write and live for you, not her.

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  6. You are a purist writer, my friend, I love that! Writing is only boring if you don’t have sufficent imagination to be able to create. That is why you find writing so great because you think and imagine and have the power to move us readers who enjoy your writing for the very same reasons.

    So when people ask why do you write, tell them that your fans would be up in arms if you didn’t!

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      1. I am a keen reader of your words as you know…I wouldn’t miss them but for my own stupidity!

        I am well, although I am not having naps I am doing all American things like eating Mexican food and saying y’all a lot hehe. Hope you are well my friend?

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  7. Questions doesn’t bother me much. Each time i write i get this feeling that well I’ve expressed myself well, more better than my last try. But something which really makes me think is my level of writing. I really get this feeling that it hasn’t improved. Many men who are not much but still younger than me are better in this field than me.
    So this sometimes makes me passive in writing.

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  8. Based on all the interactions that I have had with lots of people on this particular topic, my analysis is this….people who rarely read anything beyond newspaper headlines and e mails will never understand why we write blogs. The reason being, they are not in love with words. Anybody who is not in love with words will never understand why we write, Period.

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    1. Bang on this is. ‘Anybody who is not in love with words will never understand why we write, Period.’. You couldn’t have put it better. How’ve you been doing? I need to catch up with your posts.

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  9. I think that “living in a meritocra(z)y that India has now become, with its roots still very very deep in conformism” is the answer to your question. In a conformist society you are not supposed to write. The next thing is sexism with the same deep roots in conformism: “Soit belle et tais-toi” ( .. a french film made of interviews with many actresses in 1958.. ), where a woman is not supposed to write, even to have an opinion.
    If I were you I would try not to be bothered, and just do what I want to do.

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    1. Most times, I do the same. I mean not be bothered and do what I want. Few times I get pulled down by the expectations and constraints. But I try to keep up. For writing has become a way of life than anything else.

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  10. I write because I like to read, and I like to be read. I write because I get a buzz from successfully creating my own worlds, people & conflicts that seem like a complicated mess, but that make perfect sense as a whole. I write because I enjoy expressing my ideas, to teach people a new way of viewing the world – to understand and to be understood. I write to explore a reality where anything is possible.
    But more than anything, I write because I can – can’t you?
    (THAT is what you say when people ask you why you write)

    Liked by 1 person

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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