“Why do you write?”
I’ve been asked this question a few times this year. You’d think I’d have an answer prepared for this question by now, but I never do. Which is kinda weird for someone who’s decided that they want to be a writer. I wish I had this deep, philosophical answer that would leave people blown away whenever they asked me this question, but I don’t. After a few uhms and ahhs, I always come up with some weak ass answer that leaves me thinking: really, Minenhle? THAT’S why you write? Out of all the reasons you could’ve given, you chose that rubbish one? Fucking hell.
I don’t like this question very much. Actually, I hate it. I feel like it’s one of those questions people ask to rationalise things. It’s the type of question that you get asked so you can justify your reasons for doing something (bear with me, I don’t know where I’m going with this either). People hear that you want to be a writer and they think that it’s an irrational decision. They’ll tell you that there’s no money in writing, no future and no sustainability (a big fuck you to all those people) – because, according to them, writing isn’t a “normal” career to pursue. So they ask “Why do you write?” hoping that your answer will bring some reason and logic to what they deem an irrational decision. Are you guys still with me? Or have I lost you? (I think I’ve lost me too, by the way)
Hmm, let’s see. What other question do people ask when they want you to justify something that seems irrational? *sips on milk & honey herbal concoction that I made because I’m getting sick* Ah yes! Love! The question “Why do you love me?” to be exact. Human beings are weird creatures. We talk about how love is this beautiful, irrational feeling. A feeling that you can’t logic your way into. It is a nonsensical feeling that we don’t need to justify. It’s beautiful, and It just happens. We say all these things about love, yet we’re always trying to find reasons for why we love someone. Or why someone might love us. You’ll ask you partner why they love you, they’ll ask you why you love them or some other third party will ask you why you love your partner. All in an attempt to find justification and reason for this irrational feeling. Damn humans.
See how easily I get distracted when I start rambling on about love? Lol ANYWAY, let’s get back to the original question: “Why do you write?” Despite all the kak I’ve just spewed in the previous two paragraphs about how much I hate this question, I’m going to answer it. Not because I’m trying to rationalise my decision to become a writer or anything like that (that’s exactly what it is).
I Write Because it’s what I’m good at. That is the first reason I thought of. Writing is my one and only talent. I think I’m pretty good at it and people who’ve read my work seem to think so too. I write because I have a lot to say. Maybe not out loud, but give me a pen & paper (actually, give me a QWERTY keyboard) and I can ramble on about everything. I’m awkward and socially inept, so I’ll always turn to writing. I write because it makes me happy. Yes, even when I suffer from the worst depression, heartache & heartbreak and general unhappiness, writing about it makes me happy. I’m not going to lie and say I shit flowers and rainbows after writing something when I’m in a melancholic state, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes after I complete a piece. When I write, there’s just this beautiful thing where it feels like my brain and heart are working together. So yeah, those are the reasons why I write. I am good at it, I have a lot to say and it just makes me happy, man.
I just thought of this really awesome line I read a few years ago. It basically says fuck trying to find reasons to rationalise why I’m in love with you – I just love you! It goes:
“Either way, I love you, without rhyme or reason but with all of my heart.” – Koki Kapa
I love that line.