Why Writers Write?
As can be understood from the title of the article, one of the questions I ask myself is the role of the writership, the purpose of its existence and, in the deepest, the motivation that drives someone to write. Anyone who knows me knows that I constantly ask questions and often ask ‘why?’ rather than asking other questions. I am more interested in the origin of an event or phenomenon, rather than how it happens or its characters, for the fact that every cause has an effect and at the same time; while also the direction, course, and style of the event, together with the effect it creates, produce different results. Here this time, my question is about writership… Why a writer writes? There is no doubt, everyone, regardless of their profession, has different motivations and expectations. Looking out at this question from my own window, I asked to myself: ‘Me Shirli, as a writer, why am I writing?’ Here, I sought an answer and put my inner voice into words.
First, I would like to start with the question, ‘Am I a writer?’ Does writing essays and articles on different platforms and/or having a printed book make me a writer? Does having a fixed or random audience make me a writer? Does it make me a writer if I have a story, message, knowledge, or idea to tell and put it together in words? Or does it make me a writer if I love to write, and write with the mindset of ‘every product has a buyer; therefore, every article has a reader, and anyone who wants to read will just read’ and that if I write with the freedom of joy that comes from opening and spreading out my inner world? Well, I think it does!
With this question I got taken to ancient times and to the way professions were attributed in those societies. Professional identities were attributed to the person directly related to what they did, and by being accepted by the society. For example, in the ancient Greek Civilization, important members of the upper class gathered in the Agora to develop, research, and share their thoughts, that is, they would philosophise. Today we give the title of ‘philosopher’ to these great thinkers. Nevertheless, to be a philosopher today, it is necessary to go through various training and accreditation processes. In their own time, great thinkers became philosophers based on their knowledge, skills, intellect, analysis and synthesis skills, and their passion for generating and developing ideas, without being subject to any document or acceptance criterion such as diplomas, certificates, and accreditations. As a result, these people became philosophers by doing what a philosopher would do.
If you are a curious person like me, you may be wondering why I ask a question within a question. In other words, why do I derive the question ‘who is the writer?’ from the question ‘why a writer writes? My intention is not to create confusion, but to reveal a phenomenon in this way. It is to emphasise that our motives that direct our lives and motivate us, depend on two important concepts; moreover, to emphasise that our existence depends on their relationship, balance, and cooperation. These two concepts are being and doing. What does a writer do? S/he writes. To be a writer, it is enough to write, publish, have an audience, and be accepted by the society. There is such a dialogic between being and doing that they support and cultivate one another. One creates herself/himself as a writer by her/his actions, deeds, and products; and this identity s/he created pushes her/him to act and produce. In an eternal relationship, they continue to carry and support each other, without breaking from an infinite (∞) cycle. So, where is the question ‘why’; or, what is the motivation behind this?
There is a motivation behind every existence and action. Since action structures one’s existence, one makes conscious choices. At the same time, as existence pushes one into action, self-awareness and self-knowledge are of paramount importance. In brief, the element that provides the harmony between being and doing is motivation. The answers we give to the question of ‘why’, are what make us who we are and make us do what we do. The actions and behaviours of the person who knows himself are not arbitrary and random; on the contrary, they are conscious, meaningful and goal oriented. For the writer to know why s/he writes, it is essential that s/he is conscious of who s/he is, how s/he defines herself/himself, what kind of image s/he draws for herself/himself and the society. Provided that s/he knows who s/he wants to be, how s/he wants to define herself/himself and what image s/he wants to create in the society, only her/his actions can support her/him in that direction. So, whatever we do in life, whoever we are, it is very important for us to be conscious of our reason of existence and action.
As I come to the end, here is why I write as a writer. I think, I observe, I analyse, and I make inferences in my own way; therefore, I am! I want to tell my stories, knowledge, and inferences instead of keeping them to myself. I love to write. As I write and share, I feel that I contribute to the wisdom of the whole and I feel inexplicably happy. What is more, I feel enriched when there are comments, ideas, and perspectives from readers, who me give way to new horizons. As I write what’s within me, I feel free. In the case where I keep those to myself, I feel so filled up that would get explode. I can list pages of reasons…
To conclude, we all have great wisdom to impart, whether by writing or speaking, but certainly by sharing in some way. In this age of knowledge and wisdom, it’s time to let it all out, rather than keeping within!
With love, from Barcelona.
28th November 2022
Translated from Turkish by: Handegül Demirhan
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