When faced with this question of Why I Write, I found that it’s not easy to answer. It’s not everyday that I ask myself: Why do I do this? Or, why do I do that? And it’s especially hard to answer these questions without a clear definition of what this/that is. At first, I was chasing a yes or no answer. It’s easy to say I write because I like to, but that leaves the question: What do I like about it? Introducing a whole slew of new ideas. So I decided to take a different approach, and start by asking myself a question that I know the answer to: What is my definition of writing?
This reminded me of an essay I wrote about essays. “Essays are used not to just communicate ideas, but to do so in a way that entices and interests the reader. An essay is a writing form that blends thoughts with that creative edge. That’s what makes an essay a genre of its own.” And I was able to write over four pages about the genre alone.
This got me thinking about how essays relate to other genres. In fiction writing, a material can be presented and left to the reader to analyze. In argumentative writing, the author argues a point and supports it with research. In an essay, the author needs to present an idea or story and dissect it under a specific lens to get his/her point across. Other genres can do the same thing, but in essay writing it is vital the author does so. Otherwise, the essay is no longer an essay.
As you can tell, I have a lot to say about essays. I could tell you the difference between an essay and a short fictional piece. I could also tell you where to put in a comma before a conjunction. My point is: I could I tell you a lot about writing, but there is still even more that I don’t know. And there are always more questions to answer.
On that note, I decided to limit my scope to just the questions I can answer. I’ve found that my definition of writing lies in all of those little pieces. What is an essay? Where do I put the comma in this sentence? How do I introduce this character in my story?
To answer this question of Why I Write, I need to connect all of pieces in the puzzle. Meaning, I need to collect all the information I know about writing and form an overall idea of what it means to me. Instead of asking myself the broad question of Why I Write, I need ask myself: What is this aspect of writing, and why do I use it that way? I cannot answer Why I Write with questions I don’t know the answers to.