“Why do I write?” It’s a question that I’ve been tossing around in my head over the past few months, as I’ve decided to make writing a major focus in my life. The simplest answer is that if feels essential to who I am. But I’ve been trying to break that down a bit further and figure out what it is exactly that drives me to put words and coherent thoughts on a page.

One of the biggest things I’ve found as I write is that it is the best way for me to understand and learn about the world. As I write about a subject, I am forced to tease out new angles of looking at it, to dig for new sources of information, and to go deeper than the surface. It’s a chance to explore new subjects and areas of interest, and the process of presenting that information challenges me to look deeper into that subject, and often to re-examine my own beliefs, thoughts, and preconceptions.

Of course, it would be difficult to be a writer without a love of language. Finding the perfect words to convey a feeling or idea is a joy unto itself. I love wisting language around to not only communicate but to also create a picture in a reader’s mind, and playing around with a sentence until the rhythm of it is just perfect…Simply playing with words is a huge part of the joy of writing.

But, deeper even than all of that, is the way that writing allows me to capture a few fragments of life and make them permanent. Moments in life are so fleeting. Feelings and images, places we’ve traveled to, love we’ve felt, friends we may never see again. Those moments of joy and sorrow, of beauty, transcendence, all slip by so fast. I always find myself trying to grasp them, trying to capture the essence of those moments. To try to hold onto them without putting them into words, without making them permanent, is nearly impossible. So I write.

These are far from the only reasons why I write. They are simply the ones that stand out the most to me. Being a writer can be such a difficult road at times, it’s important to step back every now and then to examine just why we walk it in the first place.