Excursions

by Amit Gawande

Why Do I Write?

Don’t write for others, write for yourself. Most long-time writers give this advice to someone who is just getting started. Actually, screw that. Every person who does any amount (and form) of writing gives this advice to every other person who wishes to do some form of writing.

Easy advice for others, but very difficult to follow oneself. To be frank, what does “not to write for others” even mean? Or write only for yourself?

I write when my mind blanks out. I write when my mind gets crowded. Most of the time, I write as I comment on something I read or listened to. At times, a thought makes me go, “Hmm, that’s curious. I should write more about it.” Occasionally, I write because I want to force myself to write.

Writing something, anything, makes me focused. It calms me down. “I write because I have an innate need to write,” says Orhan Pamuk. More often than not, I share his sentiment.

But I am not perfect. I also write because I want others to read my writing. Trigger a conversation. Read what others think about my thoughts. As an introvert, that’s my only way to open up to others. I don’t care how many people read what I write. As long as I know that some do.

Numbers don’t matter to me. Conversations do.

On a philosophical level, everybody understands this belief of “not writing for others”. Write what your mind wants you to write, don’t write what others want you to.

You write because your thoughts are important. You write because you are brave and willing to expose those thoughts. But, most importantly, you write because you have something to say.

A fascinating perspective. It is worded succinctly, but it still is philosophical. Everybody has something to say. But not everybody writes. So, what motivates you to put your thoughts in words?