Why write? It takes time, time that could be spent doing something more valuable. It takes focus, focus that is already being called for in so many other arenas. It takes vulnerability, vulnerability that strives to be hidden and that threatens ridicule if exposed. It takes patience, which takes time, which we already discussed could be spent in other pursuits. It takes creativity, creativity that can only be found by peeling back the layers of one’s self and taking off the blinders to the surrounding world.
The act of writing is the act of developing art. In a society that places so much value on productivity and concrete deliverables, art is often seen as more abstract, and therefore less important, lower on the list of priorities.
I don’t need to remind you how scary and confusing the world is today, especially for young people. We are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages, images, and ideas. The person who does not have the ability to sort through all of that noise and create a stable understanding of reality for themselves is truly a person at risk. While it certainly isn’t the whole equation, I firmly believe that encouraging, training and allowing young people to write, to develop that art, is so important for the health of our society.
Aside from what writing TAKES, let’s think about what it GIVES. It gives self-understanding. It develops mental organization. It teaches critical thinking. Perhaps most importantly, it empowers expression and understanding.
Why write? We can’t afford not to.
I am forever indebted to my mom for encouraging and allowing me to spend so much time writing while I was growing up. It is without a doubt that any semblance of creativity and intelligence I have now is due in great part to her. Thanks mom, I’m a writer because of you 🙂