In response to Kevin’s prompt (@dogtrax) on the National Day of Writing a few days’ ago, I thought at a meta level about why I write and why I love writing.
I write because I love to hear the sound of words (or Chinese characters :)) reverberate in my mind.
In twenty ways could he trip and dance. – Chaucer
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastic round. – Milton
I write because it’s a privilege to write. To have the ability (and means) to capture an experience in time, a moment, or a thought before I lose it forever — is not something everyone is entitled to. The joy of writing down an observation is not a given for everyone. When my parents passed away, there was not a note they left behind which I would call writing. No article, no composition. I was devastated. All I had of them that I could hold on to concretely were faded old photographs and scribbles of dates and numbers (my dad’s doings). World War 2 disrupted formal education for both my parents. In the post-war era, they were too busy working to feed me and my siblings to think about their own education. So do write. Write so that when you are no longer around, your loved ones have some tangible part of you to hold on to.
I write because in joy and in sadness, writing is my faithful companion. In longhand, scribble, or doodle, I write to think. I write to find my voice. My writing is an expression of my uniqueness. Without this skill, grief would be prolonged, troubles (seemingly) unending and happiness elusive. Writing in its multiple modalities makes my thinking public to others. When others see my thoughts, they can better understand how to connect with me.
I write because writing is a gift I feel I have been given and I want to share it. I taught English Language and Literature, and Communication Skills in schools. Teaching these subjects gave me the opportunity to help other people communicate and compose their thoughts. A significant purpose of my life is to help others gain an ability to compose their thoughts and to make their thinking visible.
I write because writing is an art and a craft; a challenge suitably formidable to make me want to get better and better at it. I am what I read and I can only become a better writer when I read consistently. I write what I am about and what I am becoming.
Writing is becoming, in more than one way. And I am always in the process of becoming.[First pass, more modalities to be included soon]