A question that has plagued mankind since never. Perhaps, people write because they are bored, or because they feel the need for validation or there is an external force which manifests in a way that coerces them into writing, something called deadlines and salary.
But then, that shifts the entire focus to the outside and interestingly enough, that may not be how writing began. The obvious path is simple, it started for record keeping and transfer of knowledge and what-not. But somewhere, it also began as a means of saying things anonymously or under a disguise. And then, somewhere else, it was a way to talk back to yourself.
On the other hand, let’s think about it from a non-civilized perspective for a minute. For mobile organisms, a more direct or immediate need for communication takes place by voices, the sounds we make to take the attention of our intended recipient. Now imagine, if no one was willing to listen to you, or no one is willing to give the attention, you can shout yourself hoarse and it wouldn’t make a dime of a difference. Sure, you could always talk to yourself, but till when will you.
So you express your angst and observations in drawings, stick figures, random pelts of the side of the cave till maybe you see some kids trying to see what it means and hey, there may be someone willing to listen to you.
If the core purpose of writing, as somewhere hinted in the beginning was mere record keeping and ‘knowledge transfer’, heart and souls wouldn’t be poured into the words the way it has been in the past. Rumi, Ghalib and Gulzar would not have become household names if Einstein’s papers were the preferred reading material. One ‘always’ would not have meant the exact same thing to an entire generation of fanatics for a scar.
And that, perhaps is the greatest irony of writing. It began as a necessity to express yourself in a lonely world where you wanted to be heard and yet couldn’t as a raw human being with your vices and virtues. The parallels one draws from a piece of fiction is possible only because somewhere someone else went through same turmoil and angst but decided to sprinkle some dry wit or a binding tail around that experience. We connect with the writer as a reader, perhaps to a point that even the writer couldn’t fathom feasible.
When you write and you feel no one is reading, it is to sedate yourself. It is to dull some of the anger, ecstasy, desire, melancholy and the whole torrid of emotions that we hide behind a ‘K’ in our interactions with people because somewhere we feel that if we expose our bare form to others, it will not be received well, can be put down in a place where they will not be dismissed immediately, if they are ever found. Writing becomes a blackbox of hope regarding your own valuation in an external ecosystem. It is a subconscious hope that if ever discovered, it will be read in a positive light because someone will feel the way you did. It is your anaesthesia from the lack of connectivity and approval from the world around you at this point of time.
– by tripping baboon
I dream of becoming a good writer someday. Ironically, I will judge my quality based on the sales and nothing else, after all, it’s the bestseller that makes the mark. I also dream of becoming attractive and saving the world. Reach me at- https://tripperbaboon.wordpress.com/