The Need to Write

I tried explaining the need to write to one of my mathematically gifted friends. It did not go well. The conversation went something like this.

Her: Do you think Lin-Manuel Miranda will write another musical after the success of Hamilton?
Me: Oh yeah. Definitely.
Her: Why? He’s made more than enough money to live off of for the rest of his life.
Me: Because he’s a writer. He needs to write.
Her: What?
Me: You know. He has to write. Like a deep intrinsic need. I have moments where more than anything I need to write.
Her: Yeah, that makes no sense.

The need to write is hard to explain to those for whom writing has always been an enemy or a chore. Sure, I don’t need to write a monotonous research paper on the history of the Cold War, but I do need to write. There are nights where I can’t fall asleep because there is something locked inside my brain that simply must come out. I’ve spent said sleepless nights desperately trying to write what’s stuck in my mind. Sometimes the piece is a look into my psyche. Sometimes the piece is a random narrative. Sometimes the piece is a rant that I’ve wanted to get off my chest all day or all year. Most times the writing never sees the light of day.

I’ve spent walks to and from class buried in my phone because an idea has struck me, and I need to contain it somehow. I have to write it down before it leaves and takes the creative spark with it. I’m willing to bet that every writer has a place to jot down ideas that come suddenly, before they’re lost to the ether . My place is the notes app on my phone. Some of the highlights include, “Blogalaties” and “the meeting had pizza all along.” Brilliant ideas, I know.

All joking aside, there is something about writing that is necessary. It settles me and centers me. I can fully think when I write. I can breathe. Maybe I’ve failed to capture that urgency in words. Maybe that’s why I keep writing. Regardless, all I know is that I will continue to write as much as I can, and that I am definitely looking forward to whatever else Lin creates.

-Wagner

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