Writers write for many reasons. Therapy. Self-realization. Compulsion. Etc.
But professional writers, those who are published with regularity, find an intersection between why they write and why their readers read. Sure, sometimes that intersection is at the corner of “I’m brilliant” and “Everyone loves everything I write.” But more often, we start not with our own need to express ourselves but with our reader’s already-felt need for … something.
Which led me to the following poem, in which I brainstorm the reasons I read, launching with a line from Shakespeare (maybe you’ve heard of him, even read him) and going where, well, I hope you’ll see. It’s called …
Why I Read
To know what otherwise I would not know,
To go where otherwise I may not go;
To feel, to learn, to grow, to see,
Become what otherwise I could not be;
Remember, reminisce, repent,
Restore a bit of what I’ve spent,
Recapture what I miss and, too,
Envision what I’d like to do;
Escape, sometimes, and heal my mind,
Revive my soul, explore, refine,
Solve problems or just plant a seed,
That and more is why I read.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. So, how about you? Why do you read? And do your reasons in any way inform what and how you write?