Why I Write

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Just a little thought piece. Peruse if you are inclined to do so.

Perhaps writing of some kind has been what I've been doing for a long time even before I took up the habit of committing my thoughts to paper. Childhood is a distant country to me at this point in time, an island that's so far below the horizon that I am certain I am more likely to encounter it once again by going further Westward rather than retracing my vanishing wake towards where the sun rose upon it decades ago. What is certain to me, though, what I do retain of it, is that I was always a curious and imaginary child. Creative adults were once lonely and bored children and I was such a child. Although I had the love of my parents and the company of two younger brothers who were close to me in age, I preferred to spend my time alone, seeking to explore my own ideas however trivial all by myself, because that was total freedom and I selfishly didn't have to take anyone else into consideration.

As I grew older, more quiet, becoming more of an outsider, I sought solitude more and more. Whatever time I spent with friends at school was enough socializing for me. That part of the day was done, and after school was time for myself, for my thoughts. Character being destiny, I must confess that solitude is still something I seek out now over company most days.


So, why do I write? I suppose I can quote Flannery O'Conner here and steal from her a bit, in that, in part, I write to see what I think. Characters can be pitted against each other, people who hold beliefs contrary to my own, people with either less of a conscience or perhaps even more of one than my own, arguments can be had, worlds can be explored, and it is all without real world consequences for the most part.

Now, while that is true for me, it misses another important aspect of the craft for me. I disappear. The creative endeavor is all consuming and my attention drifts away from the angels of darkness and the demons of light whispering in my mind. During a great immersion time is suspended and all that matters is the next word. The world outside is pushed far away and my sense of solitude is magnified. I feel unreachable, untouchable. No eye can cast its attention upon me, no ear can hear even the shadow of an utterance. It's a crowning moment wherein I feel free beyond the grasp of anyone and anything. True freedom is of course the ability to lord over anything and not to be lorded over.

My curiosity is yet another driving force: to discover what will happen next, what words will follow up the opening of a sentence, to uncovered the syntax that suits the rhythm of the piece the best. This last long after I have put the pen down and my mind will wander back to what I had been working on and reflect on it. It's a focused obsession, for sure.

I write because I suppose that is when I feel most like myself. Naturally, it is impossible to be completely myself in any given moment. Writing does lack the colors of emotion that a guitar can produce. However, though it is not entirely who I am, it brings out the most of me in a true and honest fashion. It represents the most complete culmination of my thoughts, passions, humor, ideals, peeves and abilities, all bound together in an expression of inventive narrative.

I'm not all that great at speaking. Even as a child the thoughts in my head didn't quite align with what I was saying at the end of the day. As an adult, and an English teacher in a foreign country nonetheless, I have fortunately managed to bring my tongue in tow with the intentions of my mind, though it still lags behind somewhat. Writing allows me to communicate in full and with care in a way that speaking as never been able to afford me. As an introverted recalcitrant, I can't help but sometimes find other people's voices intruding. A lot of what we all say throughout a normal day in our lives is mostly drivel and probably not that important. Yet we yap on. I feel that I myself in particular voice my contributions to conversations in a most annoying way. It's something that I've never been able to shake, that my very presence can be a burden upon the people around me. But through writing I can say what I need to say and it can be left somewhere for someone to read. At times all that matters is the mere action of getting my thoughts out of my head.


Finally, before I bore you too much, the other reason I write is that I enjoy reading and listening to stories. Even jokes I enjoy I'll listen to over and over again. No matter the art, whether it's carpentry, painting or stacking cans on a shelf, if it's done well I'll watch or listen. At times I wonder whether a meager story told greatly is more important than a great story told poorly, but I am more inclined to think that great stories deserve to be told with the sharpest of precision and by the deftest of prose. This is the other reason why I write. I admire, and therefore I imitate. From learning to play the guitar I know that I am not destined to be a great guitarist, but my ability on the instrument has only increased my appreciation and enthusiasm for music. As such, by pursuing writing I have learned to enjoy novels and stories all the better. In the end, I learn to find joy and purpose in life through these creative pursuits and that makes the harder moments of life more endurable. Serenity must be wrought, and I have found mine upon the great ship Solitude. I hope to have winds in Her sails for years to come as I venture around the world until I meet my final horizon.

Submitted: February 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Alexander Byrne. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Damn, that was a wonderful piece and very much relatable .

Wed, February 24th, 2021 7:02am


Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. If you have the time, please do check out some of my other pieces.

Tue, February 23rd, 2021 11:06pm

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