DISCOMFORT: WHY A WRITER WRITES

A writer is not one who puts the tip of a pen on a piece of paper and proceeds to use language to craft an essay, state an opinion, present a poem, or create a story. A writer is someone who does either one, some, or all of these, not as tasks, but as a way to channel divine power into earthly life.

When people write, they are either driven by academic necessity, professional obligation, or some other worldly reason. But when writers write, they do so because of discomfort.

Writers truly do not get to choose between the options to write or to not write. They are subject to a higher power – one that inflicts in them a discomfort. This discomfort prevails in the hearts and minds of writers, growing in intensity each moment. Regardless of one’s occupation or societal commitments, a writer must – in the course of a day – find some time to reflect on one’s affliction and try to alleviate this internal discomfort.

Doing so, however, is no easy task. What ails a writer is neither physical pain, nor emotional disturbance. Rather, it is a pre-existing emptiness – a void that needs to be filled with words that connect a person to the cosmos. Hence, writers suffer from the discomfort of a spiritual void.

A writer must, therefore, embark on a journey of exploring words, understanding their meanings, recognizing the role they play in human expression, and using the vast universe of words to engage in the act of creation. Words are, I believe, the evidence of the existence of a divine power. The act of writing honors that power and accepts its eternal presence.

From religious chants and prayers to sacred promises – words occupy the very core of our soul. And writers use words to connect the earthly and the holy.

Writers do not choose to be writers. God has assigned to them the very responsibilities that they perform – using the power of language to state the truth, to express endless possibilities through fantasies, to highlight the ills that hurt human beings, to glorify the beauty of nature, and to convince people to do what is right.

The only remedy for the writer’s discomfort, therefore, is the commitment to always write. Only language can soothe the soul. For the writer, it is the only way to salvation.

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