I need to write but I’m not sure why.
I am going to explore some of the reasons in this article, and maybe I will get some understanding. From that perspective, I guess it is fair to say that this piece of writing is pure self indulgence.
But that is the great thing about writing: there are so many approaches you can take ranging from deep generosity to selfish, navel-gazing, narcissistic self indulgence.
Writing to learn
Firstly, I write to learn.
By this I mean if there is something that I find difficult to understand, or something that needs slow, careful unpacking to ensure I “get it”, I find writing an article or blog post tremendously useful. When you are typing, too, and you are not lighting fast on the keyboard the slower pace of typing out each word makes understanding even easier.
Closely related to this reason is “writing to think”. I do firmly believe that writing is thinking and learning, for those of us who like, or feel a need, to write.
Writing to persuade
I write blog posts and articles and publish them on my blogs and websites in order to persuade. Persuade the reader that I understand his/her problem, persuade the reader that I can help him, persuade the reader I am a trusted authority in my field of endeavour (employment law, property law, litigation, and so forth), persuade the reader to subscribe to my YouTube channel, persuade to get readers to call me and arrange an appointment, and so on.
Writing to unpack my mind
I also write as a form of therapy and to relieve mental pressure and stress from everyday life, both working and personal. I keep a journal and I write in it every day. Most days it is immaterial whether I write in it or not, but from time to time, at certain times in my daily life it is important that I have that place to go to in order to think clearly and have a quiet word with myself.
Writing for enjoyment
I write for enjoyment, too, because I enjoy the feeling of having written an article or blog post. Not only do I enjoy it when it is completed, I enjoy the task of using words, arranging them, making sentences, putting forward ideas, and following in the footsteps of the great writers who have gone before me.
I’m not saying that I am a great writer by any means, but I can engage in precisely the same activity as Dickents, Balzac, Zola, Hemingway and use the same letters and words as were available to those greats.I have the same tools, so theoretically there is no defence of not having the tools to make something great, or at least memorable and useful.
Writing to record
I write to record what is going on in the world around me from time to time. It is interesting to look back and observe what I was feeling and thinking and what was happening in the world in the post.
Currently the COVID-19/coronavirus catastrophe is dominating our lives and it may be fascinating this time next year or the year after to take a look back at how we are responding now to a genuine crisis.
The other reason
There is a further reason, too, I think, but I cannot properly describe it or explain. I can say, however, that I am disappointed with myself and in bad form when I go a long period of time without writing something, even if it is only a working blog post about some legal issue or case.
Perhaps there is something deeper, something primitive about this desire to write because I actually like the act writing with pen or pencil and paper.
Anyway, writing this article has gone some way to explaining to myself, if not adequately to the reader, why I write.