Why We Write
“I write because it’s really hard to yell at everyone in person.” –Me, every time someone asks why I blog.
Six months ago I began writing at Teen Skepchick. Prior to that, I’d had an anonymous blog with a handful of readers, a fact I hadn’t even shared with my friends. Now, I write at five different locations (Hi there, Friendly Atheist, Heresy Club, Foundation Beyond Belief, and In Our Words!), and I tend to have at least three posts outlined at any given time.
The catch is, I really don’t enjoy writing.
Don’t get me wrong–I love being part of Teen Skepchick. (Mindy? Best Blog Mum in the history of blogging, bar none.) I think the results of writing are pretty neat–I was once recognized as “Kate from the Internet”, and it made my week. I like getting people enthusiastic about space or social justice or skepticism, and I like discovering brilliant or insightful commenters and writers.
But actually writing stuff for it’s own sake? Nope. The idea of writing a book is about as appealing to me as going skinny-dipping in the Arctic. If I didn’t have things I thought other people should hear about, if I didn’t think words on the internet were the best way to reach an audience, I’d stop writing and never look back. But I do, and so I write.
The skeptic-atheosphere is populated with people who write, people who do it for little to no pay, in what tiny amounts of free time they manage to find. There are grad students and geologists and math teachers and soldiers who do a mostly thankless task, all for the sake of getting news and opinions and causes out there. Why?
Being all skeptic-y, I asked them.
Reason One: Noise-making
“Because I want to be heard.”
Alex Gabriel, Heresy Club
Because I think I have something really important to say.
Cassy Byrne, All My Stubborn Ounces
Because I have an enormous, fragile ego that must continually seek attention, much like a starving shark.*
Paul Fildago, Starving Shark at Center For Inquiry
Because I feel an obligation to contribute to the greater cultural megaphone that gives a much needed voice to the silenced and the oppressed.
Walker Bristol, Director of Communications at Foundation Beyond Belief
Reason Two: The Only Option
I write because I have no other choice. Because, to paraphrase Nathaniel Hawthorne in The House of Seven Gables, these things weigh upon me like a giant’s dead body; they must be liberated if I am to breathe. I am never without a way to write something down; my phone’s notepad feature currently has 59 inklings, waiting to become blog posts.
Dave Muscato, MU SASHA Blog
There are some thoughts that if I don’t share them, it eats away at me… Sometimes I feel like the child with their hand up who is about to explode because the teacher hasent called on them.
Ben Blanchard, The SweaterVest Chronicles
I sometimes blog when something is eating at me and I need the words and feelings to get out of my head so I can move on. It’s an emotional release.
Bridget Gaudette, Emilyhasbooks.com
I can’t imagine not doing it, it’s almost a compulsion.
Ashley F. Miller, Ashley F. Miller’s Blog
If you write, why? If you don’t, why no? Would you ever want to? What about?
* This is a joke. I just want to be clear. Sometimes the Internet is bad at telling jokes.
Featured image from here.