“Why I Write” Revisited

Back in Writing 220, I devoted the first part of my “Why I Write” essay specifically to why I don’t:

I don’t write to be creative. I don’t write to express my feelings. I don’t write to satisfy an urge to expose some hidden inner self for which there is no other outlet. And most especially, I certainly don’t write because I enjoy it—in fact, for me the physical act of writing is often more tedious and trying than exhilarating and enjoyable.

Fast forward to now, and I think this lamentation perhaps needs a bit of clarification. In a sense, I do write to be creative–if I didn’t I certainly wouldn’t have ever applied to the Minor in Writing Program. I do write to express my feelings–isn’t that exactly what an argumentative essay or opinion piece is? And, though writing has certainly not become any easier for me over the past year and a half, it’s not as if it can’t also be incredibly rewarding.

I guess for me the difference lies in the distinction between the ends and the means. If I say I don’t write to be creative, express feelings, or for enjoyment, it’s because I view these things not as the ends of writing, but the means. The way I look at it, the end of writing is something much deeper–to expose a truth that was previously hidden. I think this principle helps to explain the connection between my writing and my passions for statistics and Christianity. As I wrote in the essay:

For just as Christ’s divinity was cloaked by His humanity, so too in statistics is the significance of data hidden behind its numbers. It is the job of the statistician, by the practice of his field, to seek out this veiled truth, much as it is the job of the Christian, by the practice of his faith, to seek out the transcendent God.

So, ultimately, what excites me about writing is its ability to convey truth. The is the ultimate reason “Why I Write”. At the same time, who’s to say you can’t have a little bit of fun in the process?

3 thoughts to ““Why I Write” Revisited”

  1. This is great! You touch on some very powerful qualities of writing in exploring what excites you about writing. The first thing I took from this post is that, as writers, we do not necessarily always know WHY we write. We just do it and either “it just works” or we really enjoy it! While you were enrolled in the Writing 220 Gateway course, you were quick to give some reasons that do not influence your decision to write. However, looking back on those reasons, it seems you actually DO write to express your emotions, push your creativity, and as an outlet.

  2. I feel like my “Why I Write” or better yet “Why I Don’t Write” was very similar to yours. I also battled with the same ideas of more so why I don’t write instead of why I do. It seems that you now have an answer to that, one in which you didn’t really have before. This very cool because it shows how we have developed into actually figuring out why it is we write.

  3. I really like the incorporation of your original Why I Write Essay in this blog post. I think you do a great job of looking back on past thinking and then exploring a new perspective on your writing motives. I was also really intrigued by your comparison between Christianity and Statistics, something I would normally not believe are similar! I wonder if “conveying truth” will come into play throughout your writers evolution essay? I think it would be an interesting question to explore why you perhaps didn’t used to see writing as a way to also have a little bit of fun.

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