Author Neil Gaiman tweeted: “Because I can lie beautiful true things into existence, & let people escape from inside their own heads & see through other eyes. #whyIwrite.”
Sounds like a good reason to me.
The fact is, these days writers are a dime a dozen. Everyone has a story to sell and no compunction against trying to tell the story themselves. It doesn't take a degree in liberal arts to make you a writer--just a pencil and some scraps of paper are all rapper Eminem had on him when he started writing rhymes, and look at him now.
By celebrating the work of all writers we should recognize that there is a writer living within each of us. Everyone is a writer, some better than others of course, but everyone who is literate has the capacity to write a story, thus becoming a writer.
The true question shouldn't be "why I write" but rather, "how I write." What form, what outlet did you find for your written stories? Poetry written on bathroom walls? An underground newsletter printed on a beat-up old copier? A cocktail napkin?
And what becomes of the things you write? Who reads them and what impact, if any, do those words have on their life?
That is the true power of writing and its most important contribution to our world.
Today is the third annual celebration of National Day on Writing. To celebrate, the National Writing Project is hosting the “Why I Write” project.
Follow this link to learn more about all the activities. Writers and readers can participate by submitting essays on Figment.com, watching The New York Times learning center interviews, or reading blog posts at the Edutopia community.
Here’s more from the release: “The ‘Why I Write’ project aims to create a national discussion about the importance of writing by collecting essays from people, interviewing authors, collecting student essays and spreading the word throughout the country as one way to celebrate the National Day on Writing this week. On the National Day on Writing, people will tweet why they write with the hashtag #whyiwrite—with the goal of creating a trending topic on Twitter—and also post their musings about why they write on Facebook.”
Click here to get the links and learn more about the #whyIwrite project.