(I was inspired to write this partly by something Orhan Pamuk wrote, which Sharon Darko showed me.)
Why I Write
One of the things I aspire to be most is a writer. I hope I already am. I don’t consider myself simply a person who knows how to use the English language. That wouldn’t be enough. It’s how I use it and what I use it for that matters.
I write at random times because I like it. It’s fun. Only words can bring some of my most absurd ideas to life – the ones which are inspired by the oddest, most unexpected things. I find inspiration in the oddest, most unexpected places. I find inspiration in everything. I write my ideas down because I like to create. I’m creative and full of imaginative nonsense. When people laugh at stuff I’ve created, I like to believe that perhaps, I can be funny. It’s a nice thing to know that I’ve brought some amusement into someone’s day personally.
I’m a writer because of what I use the English language for, not just that I can use it. It’s why I consider myself a writer, not a journalist. I kind of wish people would stop telling me to be a journalist.
I write to express…me. Writing is the only thing I can do that I feel I have the capacity to do anything close to ‘well’. I write because I feel insignificant and incompetent in too many other things. I write because I’m a teenager who has too many problems she doesn’t know how to solve. I use words to try and understand myself better, because when what is in my head is represented outside of it, it can finally be examined, by myself and by others. I write when my heart is too full and spilling over. I turn the excess that it can’t hold into lyrics. I write for personal reasons, because I am a person.
I don’t write for people. I write for persons. My writing is not an act of community service which is meant to “better the world” as a whole. I am writing to speak to individuals, especially individuals like me. I want to know that something I wrote that was funny made a person laugh and brightened up his/her day. I’m writing to express the thoughts of a person who didn’t have the mans to translate them into words on his/her own. I’m writing so that I can show people like me that they are not the only people like themselves. I want to give people who have the same problems I do something to Identify with. I’m different, and I want to show other different people that they’re not insane; they’re just special – slightly radical.
Aside from the importance of the community, I also believe in the importance of the individual. And to any persons who feel insignificant in their communities, I want to show them that being an individual means that no matter how close they get to fractured, they can’t be broken; I want to show them that being an individual means being indivisible, not invisible. I want the people who feel like they only have the power of words not to feel like their power is useless. I want to be an example, a paragon, a model for one person. I write so that perhaps, through my attempt to understand myself, other people will begin to understand themselves better.
I write fiction and poetry because I have things to say, but am scared of who the words might reach. There are walls everywhere, and not only do they have ears, they have eyes. I am writing because I have things to say, so I wish that people would stop telling me what to write. I write to be different, so I wish people would stop telling me to write things that conform.
Yes, I am Ghanaian, and yes, I’m writing as a Ghanaian; forget the fact that I’m legally American. But perhaps, we have forgotten to consider that maybe Ghanaian kids are tired of reading about a teenage Ama who gets impregnated by a teenage Kofi, and are tired of reading stories which may have very significant morals, but tell them nothing about who they are or even who the author is. I’m not writing just because I can use the English language. It’s what I use it for that’s important.
I write because I’m in love with words. I love saying them, hearing them, reading them, the melody of them. Good puns make me happy and word-plays get me excited. Words are art. I love people who not only know how to use language, but know how to use it with flair.
I write because I’m sad most of the time and words make me happy. I write because I get tired of people and places too frequently, so I create new ones. I write because I’m bored and I don’t want to stay that way. I also write because it’s a compulsion. I need to do it. I’d like to believe that people need me to do it.
I write because people expect me to, anyway. But I wish people would stop telling me what to write.
I write because I’m freaking confused and I want to understand things.
To sum it all up: I write for the same reasons I read.