There are a lot of writers out there who, when asked why they write, come up with a reply similar to "Because I have to." What I want to tell you all is that that answer is not a cop-out answer. Yes, it's vague, even borderline cryptic, but there's a significance to the simplicity of the statement. Saying you write because you feel like you have to not only depicts an obligation but also an inner need, a longing, to put words down on paper. So in that regard, I, too, can say I write because I feel like I have to.
I've been writing ever since I was eight years old (though my teachers like to tell me that I was writing simple plays about families and their dogs when I was in kindergarten, but I take their comments with a little more than a grain of salt), and I can safely say that writing has become ingrained in my everyday life. Imagine a typical morning routine - you wake up, you take a shower, you brush your teeth. Then you throw on some work clothes and go out for a jog, coming back to eat breakfast before heading to work. My writing is itself a routine of its own. Usually from 9 PM onward, I am at my desk, my headphones on and my writing journals placed beside my laptop, writing. I write either by hand or type on the computer at least once every other day; that's the routine I follow. That routine has helped me complete five full-act plays, a one-act play, a novella, and countless short stories and poems.
Writing is very much a way for me to channel my own thoughts and emotions without feeling like I'm going to burst. When I have something on my mind that I feel deserves more than a mention in serious conversation, I notate it on paper or on a computer screen. Writing as a result has become fuel for my brain and my body, right next to food, water, and exercise. It gives me energy, insight, and happiness to see something tangible be produced by my own hands, becoming my own "fruits of labor."
People have passions for different things. Some love to play sports and please a crowd. Others love to perform and watch the audience burst into applause. I love to tell stories. Being able to provide something for others to laugh at, cry at, or think about is to me a service rather than a sheer source of entertainment. That's why I heavily endorse reading at all ages. A story, if written and told in the right way, becomes food for thought without being preachy. It teaches you something without feeling like you're being lectured in a classroom. It offers you an outlet without too much exertion or too many expectations. The story becomes a playing field, and you the spectator.
I write because I'm not satisfied with simply watching the world. Writing connects to everything else I do - my acting, my singing, my music, and my interactions with others. I have been told that I have a "writer's smirk," a coy little smile I guess I show whenever something's on my mind or I have something to say. A good writer is calculative, but a great writer is cunning. I am always happy to be someone carrying out the machinations of a world, a character, or a conflict. While that sounds like I'm going mad with power, it's more that I am given a freedom I'm not able to receive outside my writing.
C. Astrid Weber was quoted as saying, "The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys." In that regard, writing is in my blood. I may not be the best at it, but it is something that keeps me alive and sane. Being a storyteller allows me the ability to express ideas, emotions, and dreams in the most unfiltered of ways. I am not censored or restricted when I write, and because of that, writing is the art of freedom. That is why I write.