Why I Write

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The incessant need to write. The millions of words in my head and in my soul are searching for a place.

Ever since I can remember I have been writing – for both my sake and others. Often, at the lowest points of my life, when I did not write for myself, it was as if a part of me was missing. A piece of my soul was incomplete and the words were trapped in there, searching for a release.

This was the case when I began, for the first time in my life, writing for others. My first paying writing job. I was consumed with turning out piece after piece of quality work that readers would hopefully enjoy. I got a thrill, a rush of adrenaline, from seeing my name on a byline. I still do.

A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not telling anyone his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that will surely out live him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price. – Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Angel’s Game

While it may not be as dramatic as that, Zafon does have a point. There is a certain amount of narcissism in every writer when they see their name in print.

It is when the luster of that feeling in those moments began to fade for the first time that I realized, as much as I loved writing for others, I missed writing for me. That sheer exhilaration of an idea springing forth and being able to jot it down in a journal for my eyes only. Those words that floated in my soul missed an outlet.

It was only when I returned to writing in my journal, that I learned how much I needed that balance of writing for others, as well as myself. One without the other and I am simply not satiated. That is perhaps why this blog contains such a mishmash of my thoughts – I must write for others as well.

For me, writing is a bit magical. The process captivates me and contains a beautiful aura that I do not wish to examine or dissect, for fear of losing its mystique. I just know that I must write. I am compelled to do so. I must write to be fully alive in each and every moment.

Silence. Pure silence is when I can hear my own thoughts. They fill my brain and it is as though the words are overflowing. As if I can’t contain them long enough to put them down in ink. I’m afraid. Afraid they’re just fleeting moments, lost in the sea of my mind. That if I don’t put them down, if that ink doesn’t relieve my brain, that it will be lost forever. Those thoughts that crowd my mind. That take up space. That fight to conceal. They struggle to fill the emptiness. That emptiness that threatens to consume. It’s the thoughts that overflow and find a temporary home. For fleeting moments of that emptiness before they reach my fingertips and find a home on parchment. And once again the emptiness consumes.

– Radhika Jit

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