Why do I write? My most honest answer is, “I do not know”.
But I have many other answers depending on the write-up that triggers the question.
I write because I read
I love reading.
In those 3 words is a truth that has stayed with me from childhood. From the days of The Queen Primer with my grandma, to the loads Reader’s Digest magazines my mum provided, the Pacesetter Series my dad bought me, the many brushes with timeless fiction triggered by fleeting lovers and my search for literature that keeps me glued cover to cover. Reading has been a dependable ally.
Reading forces me to write. Some things cannot just be read, they force action. The best authors, do not even have to put exercises in their books, you just find yourself going on a journey of discovery and noting markers of progress as you read.
To write, first, I read.
I write because it is in my genes
This is a really funny one because I think I got my flare for writing from my dad. He had his way with words. Both oral and written. Sadly, he did not write enough. I saw some transcripts of his writings by chance, and I was amazed. There is a part of me that measures the quality of my writing against those transcripts. I see the same quality in my younger brother. He writes really well, and like my dad, I think he does not write enough.
I write to learn
I have a simple rule – If I cannot write about it, I know nothing about it. There is an internalization that comes from writing my learning in my own words. My learning is incomplete without writing. Writing serves as a referral to and a reminder of what was most important at the time.
I write to teach
The things I know, I teach. To teach, I first of all have to write. It helps me clarify my thoughts. Who? Why? Where? When? What? And how do I want to teach? The answers must stare at me from a page, before any engagement. It helps me drive a win-win approach and assures efficiency and effectiveness of my communication.
I write as a metric for self
My writings bring my internal metrics to life. I do not just write to show people the approaches I think are appropriate. I write to hold myself accountable and ensure I apply my own advice. It helps me filter my external (often conditioned) metrics and exclude the noise, thus ensuring that the loudest voice in my head remains my internal metrics.
I write to connect
Some of the best connections I have made in life, came by writing. The example that always brings an upside down rainbow to my lips, is the story of how I started off communication with my wife. Before she knew my name, I was saved on her phone as “My Poet”. I was and still am a very shy person. Many people will find that hard to believe, but those that know, know. However, when I write, my voice is unmistakably confident.
I write to release emotions
Writing has been my favorite escape. In times of love, excitement, courage, doubt, pain, fear, and confusion, writing has helped. Sometimes I just write about how a particular difficult circumstance will end and it is surprising how just by writing about it, I feel more in control or the situation seems less daunting.
I write for posterity
I write for those that will come after me. I need them to read that I had some of their thoughts. I need them to act better, earlier. I need them to smile more. I need them to know that in the end, only a beginner’s mindset prevails.
I write because it has come
My best writings come to me by chance. It can come from a time-wasting conversation, a tweet, a quote, an old textbook, a text message, an advert, a movie, a loud neighbor. Something just clicks and the pages pile up. I then have to spend quite a bit of time cutting paragraphs, because for now, I do not intend to write a book.
I write to forgive
I cannot explain it, but when I write about a betrayal or wrongdoing, forgiveness becomes easier. I can spill out the rage that was eating me up and usually, surprisingly, peace replaces the void that remains within. It works for me.
I write to trigger action
Nothing has gotten me to be or do more, than writing. Sometimes, I deliberately avoid writing a commitment, just to escape it. It is almost as if, immediately I have something written down, it seizes my being until the words become flesh.
I write to show off
Ask my wife.
– Osasu Oviawe