It’s a question I often ask myself, and there is no singular or simple answer. When I really stop to reflect, however, I realize that my desire and will to write originates from the dark and lonely times in my life, when the burden of existential crisis has left me with nothing but my thoughts and a keyboard or pen with which to try and tame the demons within.
I write to capture the most valuable, and elusive, resource of all: Time.
I write to recapture the rampant imagination of childhood, when everything was new and interesting and exciting, and anything was possible. That wondrous time of life when a stick could be a sword with which I stormed imaginary castles and slew invisible fire-breathing, acid-spitting dragons with three heads and claws sharper than dinosaur jaws.
I write to encapsulate the important moments and events in my life. No other medium can capture the depths of emotion or the complexity of thought in quite the same way as written words, small packages of ideas stacked between, in front of, and atop one another in the creation of empathetic architecture. Photography and videography are an attempt to seize a moment before it’s gone. Writing, on the other hand, revels in the moment, mulls it over and tosses it about in order to suss out the true weight of its importance. Writing makes the real more real, producing hyperrealism through which others can see and experience and inhabit my perspective regardless of their place in time or space.
I write to leave a legacy, to mark my place in history no matter how small or insignificant it may be. Time is the great equalizer. In the grand scale of eternity, few are remembered long after their passing. Whether fifty, a hundred, or four billion years from now, when our sun expands and destroys our world, I will be forgotten. But no one can ever say I didn’t grab my tiny piece of existence and do my best to hammer and shape it into something worth remembering.
I write for myself. Like the map in a video game, I write to see how far I’ve come, even if I cannot see what lies ahead. A clear perspective of my progress makes the improbable seem possible in my never-ending quest for nobility.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ultimately I write for the same reasons I fight – to find and express my true self in fleeting moments of clarity amidst the chaos of life.