Do I Know Why I Write?

What I find potentially interesting about me as a writer isn’t what I know, but what I don’t know and how I admit I’m just figuring it all out as it goes. Unlike Orwell, I am not established as a writer nor do I think I have a permanent resounding voice. In his “Why I Write,” I must admit his voice is a little dry. That may be an indicator of his time or maybe he grew into that kind of writing as he aged. If he was immortal and could see the writing world today, maybe his voice would be different. Maybe mine will change too. I don’t even know that for a fact. Since I don’t know a lot, I admit I am a total amateur, and to write about that process of finding a voice I’m comfortable with as a late-adolescent could be intriguing for a reflective piece. Title: Writing Total Chaos.

As an only child, I had to create my own chaos. Life was boring with zero siblings and a boring cat for a pet. I was always the eye of my self-destructive hurricanes; I talked back, day-dreamed a lot, and always saw myself on an equal plane with my parents. That background fostered some crazy diary entries and interesting plots for short stories. I was a mess of a pre-teen and am a mess of a twenty-year-old now. My writing process is, as many writers have attested to, messy as well. I go from writing a story in a casual voice, cursing and describing a sex scene, to describing the beauty of love with airy words and leaving any trace of comedy behind. I don’t ever know what I’m doing when I’m writing, and that has made me believe I am not a good writer. I like to make sense of my world through the written word, though, and I push through anyways. I may never be published– I sure as hell never see myself writing a novel– but I’m not just a leisure writer either. The best thing I can offer at this point in time is that I don’t know. I write now for a different reason I will write in twenty years. I have talked about law school, writing deals that will sign bands to a label because I am so in love with the idea of the music industry. Contracts have no voice, though, so am I destined to write all this time in order to find a voice just to settle for not having one? Or am going to write on the side for no one else but myself like my mom does now (she deals with contracts too– what a surprise!). My answer: I don’t know. And like Orwell, I am doing little to answer the question “why do you write?” and am offering up more background to who I am in relation to the act of writing.


One thought to “Do I Know Why I Write?”

  1. Amanda, I think it’s hard for most of us to admit that we don’t really know what defines our voice, particularly when writing in your own real voice is such a personal entrance into our own life. As much as I think we all don’t know how to define our voice (I certainly don’t!), I think that’s what sometimes makes it even harder to admit. When we claim to be writers, I think most people expect that to come with a guarantee–that we don’t just write, we write in a distinctly personal way that can’t just be understood or mimicked. I think the process of figuring out what that voice is will be the best part of the writing journey, no matter where you end up!!

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