Why do people write? What exactly compels us to pick up pens and write mythical tales, or current event papers, or little scraps of poetry? I wanted to dive as deeply as possible into this often overlooked premise, so I deferred to one of my favorite books. Quoting John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, “There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught.” Essentially, despite the inevitable fate of all beings, the world powers on, and writing carries out the role of consoling the busy humans within it.
In the long run, humans have the choice as to how they will spend their lives. People write to fill up the space between now and the end. We write to save the crazy dreams inside our heads, maybe preserve them for future centuries. But the best writing happens in the moment, not necessarily with the intention of sharing it with the world. It is the rawness of humanity that exists in those “madman” writing moments, where we pour out endless, wild thoughts onto paper, without regret. We finally catch a glimpse of our inner voices, and that is maybe why writing matters.
But also, in my personal life, writing acts as a means of thoughtful contemplation of the world around me. I discovered that analytical literary essays were a strongpoint for me. Thus, I write for fun about books. I extract thoughts and ideas from them and elaborate with my own insight. I am a reader, so I love dissecting books. Essentially, I write about what other people write. Writing is like a telescope, shifting my perspective to whole other worlds.
Ultimately, writing matters in my little bubble of existence for countless reasons. Without it, life would be devoid of meaning. I would have no way to scribble down the overflowing well of ideas within me. Restlessness would settle in. Insomnia would occur nightly. I am not just speaking for myself when I say that the world would go crazy.
In terms of academics, I love when my teachers incorporate writing into a more unlikely subject, such as chemistry. I can reveal the more subdued layer of meaning. The underlying purpose emerges when I sit down and write what happened, what I think, etc. If writing were not a part of my academic life, I wonder if I would even be a successful student. I certainly would not be a reflective learner. More precisely, the process of learning would lack inventiveness and a deeper sense of purpose.
You can gain such greater perspective with writing. No matter the class, writing digs deep into the virtue of “Why?”, and acts as a brain-stimulator. Writing challenges students to a higher level of thinking that is not always achieved through mindless math exercises. Additionally, it serves as the bridge between the untamed thoughts within our heads, to a cohesive insightfulness ready to catch fire to the world.
On a global scale, writing promotes interconnectedness among societies. Whether it is utilized as a form of communication, pastime, entertainment, archive, or knowledge, writing reaches vast expanses of the human population. For instance, as a culture, we read our children bedtime stories that were written to soothe restless, juvenile minds. Therefore, writing fulfills the dimension of man that seeks to help. Broadly speaking, anything, from novels to newspapers, contains small, but meaningful universal truths. Across the ages, writing has represented, and continues to represent, the wisdom of mankind as a whole. It reveals the depth of our worldly insight. In essence, do we have the ability to view the universe through a camera lens that is not always so flattering to the subject? Writing plays the purpose, internationally, of exposing the rawness of man.