To record the world as it is. To set down the past before it is all forgotten. To excavate the past because it has been forgotten. To satisfy my desire for revenge. Because I knew I had to keep writing or else I would die. Because to write is to take risks, and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive. To produce order out of chaos. To delight and instruct. To please myself. To express myself. To reward the virtuous and punish the guilty. Vice Versa. To name the hitherto unnamed. To defend the human spirit, and human integrity and honor. To thumb my nose at death. To make money so my children could have shoes. To make money so I could sneer at those who formerly sneered at me. To show the bastards. To justify my failures in school. To justify my own view of myself and my life, because I couldn’t be a “writer” unless I actually did some writing. To make myself appear more interesting than I actually was. To rectify the imperfections of my miserable childhood. To pass the time, even though it would have passed anyway. Graphomania. Compulsive logorrhea. Because I was driven to it by some force outside my control. Because I was possessed. Because I fell into the embrace of the muse. Because I got pregnant by the muse and needed to give birth to a book. To serve the collective unconscious. To justify the ways of God toward man. To act out anti-social behavior for which I would have been punished in real life. To master a craft so I could generate texts. To subvert the establishment. To demonstrate that whatever is, is right. Or wrong. Because the story took hold of me and would not let go. To speak for the dead. To celebrate life in all it’s complexity. To allow for the possibility of hope and redemption.
Why I write. An exercise inspired by Margaret Atwood