The dictionary defines writing as a way you use words to express your ideas or opinions on paper. It is the most popular and prevalent method of creating connections among people. It also serves as the flexible foundation for almost every type of communications media. Print, video, audio, speech, and interactive online media all begin with writing.
But why write in this age and time when everything is digital? The attention span of our younger generation becomes limited as the years go by. And there are many communication media attempting to grab their attention. So what’s the sense of writing still?
Benjamin Franklin might have influenced it when he said “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” Who doesn’t want to be remembered after death? It’s natural for us humans to make a mark on this world. Not for the sake of money, but for the sheer desire to make a name for ourselves. Call that egoism, if you like.
Writing has become a tool that can encourage, or make people move. In its altruistic sense, we write because we want to change the world or create a new fictitious universe. We try to find meaning in this world in the hope of understanding our existence and our purpose in life. But because writing is neutral, its purposes and results depend on the intentions of the writer and the audience.
I write for the same reason I breathe — because if I didn’t, I would die. – Isaac Asimov
Generally, people see writing as a hobby. But some writers claim it as their profession. Others see writing as a form of therapy. Whatever reasons each writer has, the main purposes of writing are to inform, to entertain, and to motivate.
Writing connects people across time, space and culture. It keeps records of past events, form opinions, and shape the future. This makes us learn from yesterday, gain knowledge about today, and design for tomorrow.
How about you, what is your main reason for writing?