I Write for the Wanderlust
It’s the adventure for me.
Why do we write?
I’ve gotten used to saying things like, “to provide a platform for the voices who are unheard” or, “to inspire others.” But this is self-defense. So many of my favorite writers have big, life-changing experiences that have inspired why and how they write…but I seem to have none of that.
So, since I struggle to write about myself, I try to write for the benefit of others. Sure, this all seems so noble and good, but I have come to see how it has affected my creative process. What is my voice? I set out to discover what makes me tick. Not the general umbrella of “why I write,” no, that’s too specific, but rather let’s start with “why I think the way I do.” Let’s see if we can clear things up.
The big, existential-crisis question: who am I? How do I tend to think, feel, and see the world? And most importantly, why?
Unpredictability is something I claim to adore. I am drawn to sci-fi genres, horrors, thrillers, and especially dystopian topics. I suppose this speaks to my attraction towards the unknown and mysterious.
What happens next? Will they survive? Doesn’t she know it’s stupid to split up?
Questions are what drive me, and the best answers come in the form of more questions — something these particular genres tend to be good at. The ending of Inception is a great example of this. I am greatly inspired by these types of movies and films, as their effect on me is the same type of effect I want to have on my own audience.
I want to make them think, feel, and see, regardless of what type of genre I use. I don’t want to give people answers; I want to provide questions, and in turn make my audience come up with their own answers. I fervently believe that the most profound things in this world don’t come from ourselves, but from others.
Take my love of traveling, for example. The idea of setting foot in an unfamiliar place, with new people, excites me beyond belief. What will I learn? What will I see? I want to take something from those places — an understanding of difference and an appreciation for those things I maybe won’t ever understand, but at least tried to. My wanderlust is strong, and it pushes me to take chances, and to sometimes be a little impulsive. It fuels my desire and hunger for adventure, it fuels my creatively, all because I tend to romanticize the unknown.
So. What does writing mean for me?
It’s an outlet. I mainly write fiction, which might be because I can avoid talking about myself. But that’s not really true, is it? When I write fiction, I get into my characters’ heads. I create and mold them into a particular image — I give them personalities I wish for, or personalities I know I like or dislike. They are extensions of myself. Even when reading, we use the characters, we judge them, we determine if we would make those same decisions, we determine what kind of person they are.
My passion for character psychology is unnerving to say the least — once, I teared up during a class discussion on Huck Finn (he’s not a brat, he’s just lonely) — but it all comes back to my obsession with understanding. Even with the antagonists in films or novels, I find sympathy for them, often arguing with the protagonist to “just shut up and give them a chance! Can’t you see they’re trying?” Because we never know how a person will react to something; we can never understand what they are going through; it’s unfair to put them in a box. Yes, Huck Finn can try not to lie. But it’s hard. It’s hard because people think he’s a bratty, snot-nosed kid. It’s hard because they think he doesn’t need help, or worse - doesn’t want help.
Why do I write?
I write in hopes of being understood.
I write to push people to want to understand others.
I write with having the power to see the world, take it in, and retell it.
I write because I want to one day experience the experiences I write about.
I write for the wanderlust.