There are a number of reasons why writers write. Self-expression and to create “art” have become clichéd answers, and I do not think they hold much water anymore. Writers write for personal reasons that go far below the surface of a desire for self-expression and to create a work of art. Writers write because they have something to say and because they have a story to tell. Writers write because they want their ideas to be read and spread; they want to be heard. Writers write because they must; there is a force within that compels them to write. Writers write because they want to make money, which is a concern that, to me, should be the last thing on any writer’s mind. And concomitant with this desire is the desire for fame, to be known, and this, too, should be the last thing on any writer’s mind. Writing should not be about the writer’s ego; writing, like all the arts, should strip the writer of his ego, in the quest to find his or her humanity within, which is the same nature in all of us.
Writing is a deeply personal, even spiritual, act. Writing is a highly political act, and a revolutionary one as well. Writing implicitly exposes the freedom we take for granted, and it marks the boundaries of that freedom, doing relentless battle with censorship, the attack dog of conservatism and hypocrisy, and with the implied constraints of free speech, while revealing how much of the world remains imprisoned and silenced by its lack of freedom, as found in its lack of writing and in its lack of opportunities to write. Writers should write so as to participate in and learn from these acts; they should write so as to protect the civil right to engage in such acts for themselves and others across the globe.