Why I Write

I feel like the title should have ‘(or at least keep trying)’ to it. But for now, I’ll leave it short.

Today I read an article from Quinns at Shut Up & Sit Down. It’s no secret that I like these guys, and respect their output a lot. The article today was one of those ones that I point to and go ‘That. That right there is why these people are important.’ The article in question here is, on the surface, a handy chatty little guide of tips and tricks. Things the SU&SD team have learned from when they started. That would be enough for a good article – it blends down a mix of humour, constructive information and a certain easy-going style. What hit me about it though was the mention and link to a former post of Quinns, which I in turn went and read. By the time I’d read it, gone back, and finished the original article, my eyes were wet.

This may well be something that is a problem with me, but when I feel connected to someone, sometimes it just causes my brain to overload. The intimacy, the honesty, it’s too much. It’s a feeling that SU&SD have continually managed to provoke in me over the last three or four years, and whenever it happens I almost always go away and try to write. Because that is why I try and write. There are other reasons, yes, but the raw beating heart of it is that I have read things that have ripped me open or turned me upside down- emotionally, philosophically, logically – and I am profoundly grateful to the people that have done that. These things have helped me, to a ridiculous degree. They continue to do so. Sometimes it feels like too much, and I flinch away from what I reading. From their mind to mine, the connection is too close, like standing too near a fire. When this happens, I am still grateful.

This is why I write. Because I have read things like that article. Some of them were published books, things that were read by millions. Some of them were web serials with a following of a hundred thousand. Some were wordpresses, tumblrs, Facebook notes, microsopic specks lost in the giant of the Information Age. They are all equally valuable and precious to me. Those people, whoever they were, took time and effort and passion, hammered it into words, and allowed me to read it.

That will (I hope) always be the foundation of why I write: People have written things that have helped me, so maybe something I write might help someone else.


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