This comment, from Patricia Aster, was too lovely not to share with our readers in response to the query “Why do we write?” posted in the visual form of The Art-Fame-Soul Diagram. It’s a brilliantly phrased reminder of how important it is to examine our reasons for writing–and to celebrate them.
Here’s Patricia’s response:
“I read your query for the first time two days ago and have found myself preoccupied to varying degrees, sifting through your buckets to determine where I fall within your diagram. My knee jerk reaction was that I write because I must and then I wondered, is that too simple?
I found myself asking: of what use are words to me that do not touch? Of what use are words that do not evoke a sense of what I feel in my heart, in my soul? Do the words I read and the words that I hear stir my intellect, incite my curiosity? It matters to me, I think, how words are spoken. Words are a catalyst that have the ability to open doors, close windows, shed light or plunge us into a dark abyss. I read other people’s words to connect and to feel a part of the whole. I write my words to connect to the whole. I read to escape and I read to connect. Writing is a vehicle that allows me one story, one poem, or one essay at a time to experience life with and without consequence. The writer attempts to make sense of the madness that is life or to celebrate all that is good or merely examine the mundane. Then I considered why we write influences what we write.
Within your defined buckets, I fall in the categories of Art, Fame and Soul, I think. Having considered your query and after sifting through my process, I was left with a keener sense of my love of the written word, of the spoken word. My love for the words of the heart expressed in music, and visually through paintings and photography. I think I write because I must.
Thank you for this thought provoking query Literary Man. Happy Thanksgiving.”