Posts Tagged ‘thoughts on writing’

Why We Should Write

February 24, 2009

If as a writer, I try to write because I will say something new that has not been expressed by someone writing before me, then I am going to find myself at a loss pretty quickly. Whatever the troubles and joys of human life, they have already been expressed by writers before us. We do not have to look any further past the works of writers, thinkers, philosophers, historians and commentators of the last thousand years of human civilization to convince ourselves that all the great ideas covering how human beings conceive of themselves, of the societies they live in and of their place in this Universe, have been expounded upon extensively and in many languages. Why then would I, a writer, continue to forge my craft today?

All writers are chroniclers, of their times and of the language of their times. Writers do not conceive of anything on their own; they merely offer insights into the way things are. The truth of how people behave is evident in their actual behavior and it is the writers’ job to dredge this out of the swirling currents of human interactions. Without the writers being around to assess and explain the salient aspects of human society, our descendants will have no idea what our lives were like, and what we hoped for, and what we hated every day, and what gave us joy, and to what we gave love.

So even if writers cannot say anything new about humanity that their literary predecessors have not already written about, they still have to employ their talents out of a sense of their responsibility towards future generations.