Yesterday was the first day of my creative non-fiction class. After the usual introductions, we read Terry Tempest William's "Why I Write." (In looking up the link for that, I came across another essay with the same title by George Orwell, so feel free to check that out too.)
After we read TTW's version, we were given about ten minutes to come up with our own and then share with the class. I'm sure I could sit down with that topic every day and never write the same essay twice. I hope so, because I'm not very happy with this version.
I write for myself.
I write because it is the single constant- the only outlet continuously available while everything else spins and whirls around me. I write because the physical act of drawing a pen across a keyboard is satisfying and meditative. I write to practice my handwriting and improve my WPM.
I write for other people. I write to make my mother laugh or choke with delight -- I write so that I can watch her face as she reads. I write to watch her reaction, to affect her on purpose with thought and intention, to make up for the expressions I saw in the moments when I spoke with no thought, intention or purpose.
I didn't read it out loud because everyone else's was funny, and I didn't want to seem like the creepy kid in the class who writes to quiet the voices. Which begs the question, why share it online?