So when someone asks me “why do you write”, the first thing that rolls off my tongue is; “that’s what comes easier to me” or “I enjoy writing” or “I’m good at it” … But that’s not always true. Most of the time, I’m only 30% confident about the things I write and the process isn’t always as easy as I wish it would be… I say it anyway (let’s call it a form of wishful thinking).
I’ve been thinking long and hard about why I write. Since I graduated from university, I have been haunted by a quote the class speaker made in his speech. It was very simple – light, even. You could’ve easily missed it if it didn’t matter to you and it said:
“If you dream of becoming a writer,
do not be afraid to put pen to paper”
-Festus Emmanuel Jartu
After months of long hard thinking, I had the opportunity to attend Kpodola’s writing workshop and I learnt that I should write for myself (summary). For some reason, this lesson reminded me of the graduation speech quote and I’m glad it did.
I write because there is a voice that needs to be heard.
There is something to be said about every situation and it helps to have it said / written. A lot of times, I find my mind drifting off into imaginary scenarios and how I would feel if that scenario was my reality. Based on that, I tend to write a poem or put down some thoughts. In spite of the very active imagination I have, I enjoy self-reflective moments where I am able to assess myself and some decisions I make and speak about it.
What I have come to understand is, there are a lot of people who may be in similar situations and will feel stuck – or helpless. If ever anyone ‘in a situation’ needs to hear a voice of reason – or a voice they can identify with, I write to be just that. It makes me feel better, knowing I’m helping someone out.
I’ve been through a lot of situations where I had wished to speak to someone who had been through the same thing before – and had found none. Maybe, they hadn’t made themselves available to be found? I don’t know, but I know there are very few things that are worse than being alone.
It is important to be a source of light and a vessel of truth in a world that is turning darker by the day… Many people have learnt so much for themselves and that’s good – but there should be a way you share those lessons with others and we should all be ready do that. The internet and social media has made that possible. You don’t have to write blog posts, but at least put more edification in the system as opposed to the excessive rubbish we encounter – it may help in so many ways, and more than you can imagine.
I write to be a voice that can be found when needed… even if – especially if it is my voice that went missing.