Why Write?

Whenever I think of writing, my mind goes back to the movie Finding Forrester. It was about an acclaimed but detached writer William Forrester and a young man named Jamal Wallace who was searching for his own place in life. I love the dynamic of their relationship and how they both helped each other figure out how to go through their situations. The movie also talks a great deal about writing and how to put words from your mind and heart into writing.

In one of the first scenes wherein Forrester teaches Jamal how to write, Forrester simply says that when you do a first draft, you do so with your heart and then rewrite it with your head. Meaning just say whatever you have to say when you write and leave the thinking for later. And that’s one of the things I love about writing is that you get what you actually want to say in clear and concise words. Of course there are benefits from saying things in front of a person or public speaking in general but there’s also a certain clarity in written words. The writer must have chosen specific words to describe what he or she is feeling at that particular time. Even in great speeches by politicians and leaders, I’m sure they’ve had written that before they said it publicly not unless it’s an impromptu speech.

There’s also the power of what I call “freezing the moment” when you write. Whatever the writer puts down in paper indicates a particular emotion at a given time. For instance, let’s say a girl writes to a boy that she loves her, it emulates that in that particular day of the month, in that year, in that moment, the girl loves the boy. It doesn’t say for how long or for whatever circumstance. Whether or not they end up in the long run can be considered irrelevant at my example because every single time the boy goes back to the letter, he can always remember that the girl loved him even for just a brief moment in history.

This so-called freezing the moment also brings me to another point of writing is that it gives what I call a different sense of the word “now.” As I am writing this “now,” it will be different when the reader reads this later or in the reader’s perspective, his or her “now.” It’s like sharing in the moment though both are happening at different set of time. It’s kind of difficult to explain, but its vagueness is kind of the whole concept of it.

I write because I can. Some people can be lawyers, doctors, make music, run really fast, do good business, market products, and the like. I’m not saying one person should only have one talent, but in fact, people can be whoever they want to be. You just have to find your own thing and stick with it.

American running legend Steve Prefontaine sums it up best:

“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

This is what I want to achieve when I write.

 

 

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