I write because it satisfies the current manifestation of Ikigai, a universal desire for meaning, for purpose — everybody’s got one — to explore and express a monkey mind, a love of the world, an amazement with mystery, a hatred of cruelty, a rage at inequity.
I write to hold grief and despair at bay and to feed the guileless spirit of my curiosity.
I write to stand as a material witness to the torrent of people, places, and events that become history.
I write to make myself and others laugh but don’t often succeed. It’s hard to be funny.
I write to make myself useful. I write to make a living.
I write because I like to speak in voices different from my own.
I write because I like to make shit up and go there any time I want.
I write to describe what happened before, the people, places, and events that shape where we’re at now.
I write because I love the ancient origins, sentiments, sediments, and complexity of language and the knowledge, skills, and experience it takes to make it better.
And, like Bertolt Brecht, who wrote during another terrible time on earth, I want to write to tell the truth about "the barbarous conditions in our country" ... "to help put an end to them." I want to write about these barbarous conditions by "thinking about those who suffer the most from them."
I want to learn how to offer up the truth in such a manner that it will be “a weapon in all our hands.”*
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*From “Writing the Truth — Five Difficulties,” B. Brecht, 1935