Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Why Do Humans Write?


Gwenette WriterSinclair is a friend on Google Plus. She left a comment on yesterday’s post, Why Do Authors Do What They Do?, and I’m lifting that comment into this post:

“I think there is a biological answer to your core question, which is basically: Why do we write at all?? (The push to share or sell is a separate question, yes??) When I write, my MIND is very active seeing visions, seeking words, hearing sounds . . . and I actually experience an altered state of being, I sense my own mind and I sense completeness when the vision, words and sounds all slide together, meshing into a perfect form . . I actually feel a chemical happenstance in my brain and body . . . and I Like it! That is why I write. This is true whether I am writing an essay, a short story, a poem, a political treatise or a technical manual:) Whether anyone else reads it or experiences it . . that is an added pleasure. As a teacher, I do know that, if I experience that state of perfect meshing then use that piece with my students, they DO respond differently. They sense the balance I think – the state of communication in equipoise:) Information in equipoise can be more readily envisioned and accepted. Written and spoken language (I include singing and chanting here) is inherently a pathway to CONNECT with others. Those direct connections are almost as good as the first creation sensation . . . almost ;-) So, we reach out to share and sell . . .”

Gwenette likes the feeling of Equipoise, the sense of Completeness, and the opportunity to Connect.

What about our distant ancestors?

Was making a tally of trade goods the cause for feeling equipoise?

Did pictographics of the lives of gods bring a sense of completeness?

Were scribes eager to connect with others?

Obviously, not all acts of writing induce altered states; but, many could be tweaked to supply the writer’s high

Even if it was only in your diary, has writing ever helped you feel more or gain satisfaction or enliven your life?

What is it about recording words that carries such power?
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6 responses to “Why Do Humans Write?

  1. Jane Watson September 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Like many writers I often feel very ill at ease if i have not written. This has happened to me in the last week when there were too many builders working around my house making a cacophony of noise. It is ironic that a writer should feel this way since many writers, myself included, may often say that they hate writing. So why do we continue? I feel it may be for the moments when one feels as though the writing has suddenly reflected a kind of pattern that is important. Perhaps this occurs when the symbols, the theme, the metaphors and the ideas in a work suddenly seem to be intricately and organically linked at some sub wave level. Perhaps human beings yearn for patterns. Nature is ruled by patterns.

    I have always been fascinated by the Mandelbrot set which shows a mathematical expression of an infinite recurring pattern. The graphical representation shows a series of never ending shapes like ink blots. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Mandelbrot:

    ‘Images of the Mandelbrot set display an elaborate boundary that reveals progressively ever-finer recursive detail at increasing magnifications. The “style” of this repeating detail depends on the region of the set being examined. The set’s boundary also incorporates smaller versions of the main shape, so the fractal property of self-similarity applies to the whole set, and not just to its parts.’

    To my mind that description could be applied to a beautifully wrought story or novel that expresses its theme at every level, in its minutiae and in its overall plot. So I keep on writing in the hope I will produce that pattern :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai September 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Yes, Jane, in spite of cacophony, in spite of hating it, we write to reflect “patterns”.

      I would call what you relate to as being organically linked at some sub wave level, conscious connection with the energies of the Unconscious.

      Jane, I feel you’ve gone far toward producing a fractal-patterning in your work, Hindustan Contessa.

      From what appear to be your words in a review from Hecate, I read this about your book:

      “The book is shaped by several themes, one of which is the exploration of storytelling. It is written in small parts to reflect the fact that it deals with storytelling and the way different stories can mean different things depending on from where you view them. Tillie moves from seeing the world as made up of events that follow a linear time frame to one where many things can co-exist. Tillie is affected by Milan’s different view of the world and by his storytelling technique, both of which involve a circular way of thinking . . . even the language Milan’s family speaks, Bengali, has a circular logic which allows the object to come before the verb.”

      And, after having read the book itself, I would say you’ve woven a pattern of intercultural response which itself responds to deeper patterns of Human Response.

      Thank you for gracing our Comments Section, Jane :-)

      Like

  2. Cassy Lark September 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Pssst.. Jane used cacophony in her post :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai September 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Pssst I noticed :-)

      Like

  3. Pingback: Inside The Writer’s Mind « Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: What Motivates Authors To Write ? « Notes from An Alien

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