On Why I Write and Things

Eunike Cahya
Dec 25, 2018 · 3 min read

Why I write. This is one question that bothers me for couple years for now. It’s about how I question myself rather than people. Nobody and not even my job ask me to do such things. Yet, I found myself mumble words inside my head (almost) every single day.

So, I’m researching for some answer and find George Orwell’s piece well essay actually on why he write (you can read more here). He mention that every writer have motives on why he/she write, they are:

1. Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one.

2. Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed.

3. Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.

4. Political purpose. — Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. [1]

Orwell state that his political purpose lead him to write. As you can see in all of his books, you can find some politics here and there. However, we’re talking about Orwell and there’s no argument about how he write for people and so on. But, how about me and some people out there that just like to mumble in a writing.

Then, I remember what Dewi Lestari (known as Dee Lestari) , one of fantastic writer said in Ubud Writer and Reader Festival 2018 (as I recall) that she write for herself (at first) rather than do for people. She mean it well, how could one possibly represent for others when one can’t even reflect for themselves.

She said interesting thing tho about being a writer on her Instagram post. She said that everyone’s taught to write, but being a writer is not for everybody, but those who overcome challenges and keep going on. Or something like that. Here’s the original quote:

“Semua orang bisa diajarkan menulis, tetapi menjadi penulis bukan jatah semua orang, melainkan hanya untuk mereka yang sudi menghadapi kebosanan, kejenuhan, kebuntuan, kegagalan, dan masih tetap mencoba” -Dee Lestari [2]

Then, why I write tho? Well, I can read and learn what Orwell or Dee said about being a writer as much as I like, but that won’t answer my question. Simply because, it’s one question I need to answer by myself. For starter, I’m no writer for now. I’d like to call myself as a blogger even I don’t write as much or frequent as others do.

I know that writing is part of myself. In the silence of night or even crowd of noon, my head mumble some words that need to be spilled out. Writing mend myself and sometimes my soul. I’m not an artist who have that aesthetic enthusiasm, let alone have political purpose. I need a medium to spill out what inside my head with no purpose rather than pleasure for myself. However, I do hope that my pleasure can help others for whatever it is.

Finally, finding a reason not only writing but for everything is one of our quest in this life. However, some questions are better left unanswered. You don’t need to have every answer, right? Sometimes, a little bit uncertainty is making life more beautiful and creepy at the same times. Well nothing’s for sure, that’s for sure.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. –Maya Angelou

[1] http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/BrochE2gqyL/