Monday, November 5, 2018

Why Do I Write...

Recently, I was presented with a question: Why Do I Write? As a writer, I thought I would share my response.

Words offer the means to meaning, 

and for those who will listen, 
the enunciation of truth. 

- V, V For Vendetta

Everyone writes for the same reason – to communicate a thought, feeling or idea. It can be as simple as a text message, as complicated as a technical whitepaper or as elegant as Shakespearean verse. Yet all are used to communicate. Why do I write? At the most basic level, I write to communicate, and because I generally have things to say.
  • Writing is hard: Using the written word to express an idea is a difficult task. There is an aptitude for it, and it takes a certain amount of skill to convey an idea or emotion. I have never underestimated the skill of writing – it certainly does not come easy to most, and has not always come easy to me. You can always tell the skill level of a writer – how engaging it is, how it includes the reader, how it expresses the idea. None of these things are easy, but the best writers seem to have a way of producing words so that they flow onto the paper, and equally flow to the mind of the reader. 
  • Writing is challenging: Using words to express an emotion or to deliver a message is a challenge. It is a particular challenge that I enjoy, as it can be a powerful method of self-expression. Finding the right tone, finding the right words, narrowing your audience, and crafting a dialogue between the writer and the audience is as difficult as it is rewarding. I think we can all remember a time when we read something – maybe as simple as an article in the news – that was particularly moving or pertinent. Those that can accept the challenge of using words to communicate have a power that no one can take from them.
  • Writing is powerful: So many in the world do not have a voice. It is not because they do not have ideas, or have opinions to share. But they do not have a way to communicate those ideas in a way that is meaningful. I write because it is an outlet for me to express my thoughts and ideas, and – even occasionally – my emotions. I personally enjoy public speaking as well, but it is difficult to find an audience that is constantly available. Whereas writing is always – always available, always refreshing, always influencing. It becomes part of the record, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Writing allows me to create a historical legacy.
I am privileged to have a profession where writing is an integrated part of the role. I spend hours every week sharing my thoughts about the latest in technical innovations, using words to describe the qualities or value of a particular technical solution. I get to shape my messages to specific audiences. And I know that my writing has an impact – literally tens of thousands of people read my written words every month.

Simply, I write because it is an extension of my abilities, my intellect and my soul.