Saturday, 9 August 2014

Why Read? Why Write?

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Words are one of the most powerful forces in this world. A picture can tell a thousand words but a thousand words can tell a thousand words too. Words spread ideas. Words take you to other places. Words fill you up and make you feel alive. Words are a part of who we are. Words are our favourite poems, our favourite songs. Words are the quotes we keep close to us, the kind words that we say to ourselves to get through each day and the dark words that are whispered in our minds that can make for a sleep deprived night. Words are the kindest compliments that we thrive off and the insults we carry on our backs. We are all novels and love songs and heartfelt poems waiting to be written.

I have wanted to be a writer ever since I realised that the illustrations that accompanied the stories I wrote as a child were too inept for me to ever make it as a conventional painter. I wrote all the time and made up stories to pass otherwise empty days. 

When I was younger I made my way through many a book series. ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ are the most memorable. More recently my novels of choice are either classics or biographies. 

I read ‘On The Road’ just over a year ago and since then have been embroiled in beat literature. I have whirled through many a poem by Kerouac or Ginsberg or Cassady and I love how free and alive they all seem. The words rise from the page and dash around the room in a drug-fuelled haze. In many ways it is very different to anything else that I have read. Although the tales of New York and road trips and Mexico sometimes make my life feel a tad lacking, I feel so blessed to have come across this genre that makes literature feel so alive to me.

Books are so tender and so delicate; both pragmatically and metaphorically. The pages tear with an ever so slight tug at thin paper. The prose trigger memories and emotions as much as a whole album of photographs.  
I read to feel a part of something. I want to feel like I have been let in on a secret that has been shared with generations of people who have read the same words and felt the same ways. I write to feel a part of something. I want to feel that I am part of my generation and I want to make a difference. I want to participate in this phenomenon that is the written word. That is the thought that hangs over my mind when I sit down with pen and paper or poise my fingers over my laptop keyboard. It is the need that motivates me to write every bad poem, every trite song lyric because we need to get past those to someday write something beautiful.

(originally published in Issue 1 of Cherry)


  1. I relate to this so much. "We are all novels and love songs and heartfelt poems waiting to be written." So true.