This question was asked by a little kid yesterday. I met this cute kiddo who’s around 4 years old. I do not underestimate the ability of people to ask intelligent questions based upon their age but this one came as a complete googly. Why? Because when a teeny kid who cannot pronounce his Rs correctly asks you this after asking your hobby and you haven’t really thought about it earlier, it does make you think.
After much thinking I realised that it is because of three reasons that I write, not just one. I write because I can, because it helps me express myself and because it keeps me sane. I’ll tell you more about it but only if you promise not to think of me as a crazy person who thinks too much, okay?
I can write. No, I’m not being sarcastic and/or amusing. I know many people who have hands and fingers can write but by writing here I mean, urgh, I’m out of words. I think you get what I mean to say by I can write. Some people say that anyone can write if they try to, they learn and read and stuff. While I do believe that most people can write stuff with proper vocab and grammar, I do not believe that anyone can write stuff that makes a connection with the reader and makes people “feel” feelings. I’m not being narcissistic here (I rarely do that, hopefully). I do think that when I write I am able to get across my thoughts to you and that I can touch the chords of your heart and make you feel what I’m feeling. In fact, a friend who’s also a grown up (I don’t have many of these) told me that I write well, not for my age or for English not being my native tongue but because when she reads what I write then she can almost see me speaking it and being there with her and conversing with her. That’s a great achievement for me, seeing that I have not even met her in real life and yet she has a personality in place for me and that to her, my words aren’t just words but the thoughts of a person.
On writing being a means to express myself, I think you’ll agree to it. I can’t just say what I feel to people, be it because of my not being close to them or because of them being in a position of authority over me (read as not telling some of my teachers that they suck). When I write, I know that those people aren’t going to read it. When I write on the internet, there’s barely any people I know in my real life that read it. Also, there’s this strange ease in expressing feelings to people you know you would maybe come across; it makes you free from niceties and boundaries. You can be you, not fear any judgement and be safe. You can actually say what you want to. Even in real life, when I feel that I can’t speak what I feel, I write notes to the person concerned and usually that does the job pretty well (but very few people have the privilege to get such notes ;p). I don’t really know the reason behind it but I can express myself better in writing than verbally.
And keeping myself sane, that’s the most important. Do you have any idea what happens when I don’t write for long? I feel tense, nervous, unhappy, moody and all kinds of bad things. I get angry at small things while I generally have a very good temper. I am unable to maintain my calm and composure. I don’t feel my usual self when I don’t write. It’s like, I’m suppressing a part of my personality and it is not a good feeling. It might be because I’m an emotional and mushy person (yeah, yeah throw all that cringe at me) and I wear my heart on my sleeve (many people say that but I swear I’m telling the truth). My feelings are an important and big part of my life. I need to get them out somehow, don’t I?
Now you tell me, how am I suppossed to tell all this to a 4 year old? I just told him that I write because it makes me happy which is true indeed. His reply? “Oh I also play with my toys and feel happy.” So there, what writing is for me is a toy for a kid. It may be something else for you. Tell me what it is?