Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.
Here’s a semi-free-writing exercise on the metaphysical topic Why I Write aka Why I Even Exist, which will spiral down to bleak existentialism (Warning, warning), however, relieved by sardonic bites on the way. I will list a succession of reasons why I might write and will test the validity of each. (From the previous sentence, you’d never guess I’m a trained academic, right? Yes, I am being sarcastic.)
I write because. Full stop. This non-answer is so low that it isn’t worthy of a comment. (Damn. I just commented on it.) Scratch this.
I write because I can. This is a dumb non-reason in so many ways. Why would I do something only because I can? I don’t drive a car into a bridge only because I can. (Though, technically, I can’t because I don’t own a car and can’t drive well, hence I’d sooner drive into something accidentally than deliberately managing to hit a bridge.)
I write because I want to express myself. I don’t think so. First, I don’t think my self is so fascinating that it needs to be expressed for the benefit of humankind; second, anyone expresses themselves already through the simple fact of their existence. Why make it further complicated by writing your self?
I write because my mind occasionally requires to unburden itself and spill its (dis)contents on the screen for no particular reason. Now we’re getting close. Since I can’t find the clear cache setting in my head, I need to perform this routine maintenance task manually. (Speaking of which, does your computer need maintenance? If so, you can just as well do it now because this post isn’t going anywhere particular. If you don’t feel like clearing your cache and cookies, just go eat some cookies for me.)
I write because I’m lonely and scared. That escalated quickly. Seems legit though. I don’t quite think that the self by virtue of its very nature can ever connect with not-self. In non-philosophical terms, I can’t connect with you simply because I’m not you. Some degree of connection, of course, is doable, but ultimately, we are all alone. (I read it somewhere, so it must be right.)
That echoing thud right now was where this post hit the bottom of the downward spiral, as promised. The good news: it’s not getting any deeper! (And a gross joke that I just recalled in connection with writing to relieve yourself—I heard it on TV, where one character shared something he shouldn’t have to relieve his conscience, and another character retorted, If you want to relieve yourself, go jerk off. So.) Finally, on my defence, I literally (not figuratively, literally literally) followed this writing challenge’s prompt which read: Go for the jugular. If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.