I have been recently reading a great book by Eduardo Galeano, with the title "Open veins of Latin America". The book starts with the introduction "In defense of the word", where the author raises a very important question of why one is writing. The related question is how we can make ourselves heard and whom we can reach with our writing.
"One writes out of a need to communicate and to communicate with others, to denounce that which gives pain and to share that which gives happiness.
One writes against one's solitude and against the solitude of others.
One writes, in reality, for the people whose luck or misfortune one identifies with - the hungry, the sleepless, the rebels, and the wretched of this earth - and the majority of them are illiterate.
How can we make ourselves heard in the midst of a deaf-mute culture?"
Those are some quotes from Galeano's book and he wrote for his country, Uruguay and the whole Latin America whose story he wanted to change from abandonment to the strong voice of its own.
Not many of us have such grand goals in mind, however, if we consider the recent Kony 2012 narrative, it pursues the noble goal of liberating children, at least it looks like that.
What about less ambitious reasons for writing? Producing course papers, writing blog posts like this one, writing articles to be published (or not), writing diaries, writing posts in Facebook. Do we ever ask ourselves why we open a new Word document or an empty page? Is it necessary to have a special goal in mind when we write?
I have written papers, which I wish I have not even started. They were just written to get published. I have very few things written only because it was impossible not to write, things without a reason, task or deadline. And I think this is how it should be - we should write from our hearts, only when we are convinced that we cannot be silent.
Why do you write?