“Because I want things to exist in the world.”—Impossible Mike, “an excessive pointlessness beyond terror and despair: why do i write”—HTMLGiant
Part 3 – The Personal
My family, previous girlfriends, and my wife will tell you I am not very good at communicating. This is true. I spend more time thinking through what I will say than I do saying it. This has the added quality that once I have thought something through, I express myself as economically as possible. My vocalizations usually come in the form of “Yes,” “No,” or “I don’t know,” leaving little for a conversation partner to grasp upon. So I have found that writing is both a way to think through things, but also a better way for me to communicate. There is something about the physicality of writing—whether by keyboard or by pen and paper—which allows a better expression for me than what seems to be an ephemeral act of speaking. Emotions, thoughts, reasoning become more readily accessible.
And maybe it is the layer of removal inherent in writing that allows me better communication. Maybe this ties into the existential fear discussed above. But my relationships have improved since I began pursuing writing seriously. Certainly one of my biggest blocks to speaking is fear of direct and personal rejection. Writing provides a distance from that possibility in time, in distance, and in mediation. That removal offers a feeling of safety, which enables me to be more honest with both myself and others. I have found that as I continue to pursue writing—interrogating my thoughts, emotions, and myself—that I have also improved my communication with others in face-to-face situations. Because I value the people in my life, and because writing helps me connect with them, I continue to pursue writing.
Writing allows me to confront the cave, to light a little my own darknesses—and I hope some others’ darknesses. Writing allows me to pursue my passions, and to hopefully support a family. Writing helps me become a better person. These are finally the reasons I write. They may not be wholly unique or even interesting to someone outside my own head, but they drive me. Mike might have issues with his “excessive pointlessness beyond terror and despair,” but I would prefer to look at the other thing he says, “because I want things to exist in the world.” I do want things to exist in the world, but I also want to prove my own existence in the world to myself. I think for the reasons I have discussed, writing helps me do exactly that.