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Recently, I was talking to a friend with whom I connected after a long gap of 28 years. It started with a little chit-chat that led on to some light-hearted banter which then led to some serious discussions on life and the purpose of our lives. After meandering over the subject for some time, she asked me point blank, “Why do you write?” I replied that it is an inner drive in me that makes me write.

In fact, her question made me seriously think about it. Upon reflection, I recalled how every time I tell someone I’m writing, the first question they ask me is, “Have you published any book?” I guess the first thought that comes to mind for most people is – if you don’t publish books, you don’t exist! I wish people would understand that there are many reasons for folks who write to express their thoughts. Yes, recognition would definitely be great, but that’s not what I am keen on!

I write because every now and then there are thoughts and feelings within me that wish to be released into written words. Every time I procrastinate or fail to respond to the call (which, unfortunately, does happen quite a few times!), those thoughts and feelings dissipate into thin air and a part of me dies! The fact that my friend isn’t a writer also says something about some of the people who never seem to get why people write.

As the above infographic shows, the physical act of writing does have a significant impact on how information is brought to the forefront, enhancing our ability to focus more effectively! A lot of the time, I also write to help focus and recall events from memory because, writing encourages a good recall especially through methods such as story-telling.

We all go through experiences that teach us some difficult life lessons. I write because it pushes me beyond the barriers of everyday existence into a world of possibilities. The path may not always be smooth and predictable, but there are new horizons to explore always, which add to more adventure in life, away from the staid and the ordinary. Writing makes one view life with a multi-coloured lens with a view to present the myriad hues of the human condition to the reader. Each moment of anticipation is full of excitement about what could happen in the next. It is not about the destination, but all about the journey!

And, some days, my thoughts lead me to wonder…Why do I spend so much time dreaming up words and ideas that I hope might influence/inspire people? What’s the point? In any case, it is a very heady feeling to know that the pen can yield a mighty power to actually influence minds on a particular issue. For thousands of centuries, writers have brought  in the change in people’s thinking and society at large, which therefore makes them accountable to a large extent of their contribution in a wider sense. When I think of my reasons to write, the first thought is that of an impulse, a force that wants to bring about small changes in the way we view things, even if the change were to be a minute one, it would mean I achieved something. Someone rightly said, “At times, it feels like riding a roller coaster; other times, it’s like riding a donkey.” Writing pushes me to grow and discover more about myself. I couldn’t live any other way.

When I hear from my readers that my note/post has earned their appreciation, it validates my inner thoughts and fuels me to go on.

If my writing helped a soul and made even one life a little easy or showed the light of hope to even one reader on a dark night when all was lost, I would have achieved my goal. I think, the ultimate objective would be, if someone came up to me and said one day, “What you wrote changed the course of my life.” That certainly would be worth more than any cheque could ever mean to me.

Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.  -C.S. Lewis

Linking this post with WriteTribe’s #Write My Heart Out.