By: Liam Cuddy
Why write? That’s a question that occasionally floats into my mind, and a question that countless others have surely asked themselves. As college students, we are living a life where there is work to be found waiting for us around every corner. No matter what your major is, if you are a driven and motivated individual, you will always have work to do. Whether that work is writing oriented usually varies, but at the end of the day, work it work and it must be done.
There lies the problem, the idea of work that must be done. When work is mandatory, it often leaves a sour taste in our mouth. There is some sort of narcissistic entity inside of us all that says “I shouldn’t be forced to do this, this is stupid, this is pointless, my time could be spent better doing other things.” In some scenarios that entity may even be right in assuming that. Yet when we attend an establishment where our merits are based on the grades we are given by our professors, we don’t really have much of a say in the type of work we do.
So why write? We wake up everyday and convince ourselves that we are in control. We do this by choosing what sort of cereal we have for breakfast, or by deciding to go to the gym, or by sending that one risky text message to a person of interest. But the honest truth is, we’re not in control. We live on a massive volcanic rock that spins on an invisible axis which is being held in place by gravity, a concept which even the most intelligent scientists don’t quite understand. To make things worse, this massive volcanic rock we call earth is being destroyed more and more every day, and the politicians who wield the power to really make a difference are focused on other far less significant matters. So are we in control? Not really, not at all, but please enjoy your frosted flakes.
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up one morning and be in complete control? To be able to snap your fingers and fix problems in the blink of an instant? Wouldn’t it feel great to step away from the unpredictability of everyday life to sit down and have immeasurable power for a few minutes? With writing, you can do that. You can create worlds using only your imagination and fingertips, you can build the life you’ve always dreamt of, and pick away all of those little annoying aspects that have nagged at you for so long. You can forge a utopia and dictate what is right from what is wrong. You can build the blueprint for a better future.
For me, writing is a cathartic escape, a free counseling session, a moment or two of clarity. It pulls me in and makes everything else disappear. What people don’t realize, is that if you write enough, and you really craft your skill, others begin to read and that’s when the real magic happens. They are not able to see what you’ve created, they are now able to see it through your lens, and view the world through a different perspective. That is how change will be made, one word at a time. So the next time you wonder why you should ever consider writing for fun, do the world a favor and instead ask, why not?