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"Why I write" by HP

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

In the spirit of collaboration, the Lumpen editors have decided to explore the reasons why we write (and struggles we may have) and we'd like ya'll to do the same, comment your thoughts on this below! This is the first of three pieces answering the same question.


Why write.

Why do I write? I write to untangle, to make smooth long threads that I can see with my own eyes, that I can discern from other strands, so they can have their own separate homes, not like but not unlike cutlery in a draw. I write to see where meanings converge. I write because I can’t stand to feel cluttered. I write because things need names, without, they fall to obscurity. I write because unsettled thoughts and feelings are crowding. I write because my brain fills quickly, and I haven’t yet found a storage space as suitable as these tiny symbols, contrasting in color on pretend or real sheets of paper. But more than anything, I write to put bad things down. I don’t write to pour good things out.


I don’t write because I hate writing. I don’t write because a bad day of writing is worse than not writing at all. I don’t write because I don’t deserve to write. I don’t write because I am scared of what comes next. I don’t write because everyone writes and I should do something else. I don’t write because its indulgent. I don’t write because I am bad at it. I don’t write because I’m not smart enough to say anything smart. I don’t write because writing for an audience means not writing for myself. I don’t write because writing for myself is selfish. I don’t write because I don’t understand grammar. I don’t write because I have not found it’s inherent value; like breathing or eating. I don’t write because it’s a relationship I’d rather avoid. I don’t write because I have a half terrible, half non-existent relationship with my family. I don’t write because It caused me to rationalise away my mistakes. I don’t write because I am scared of deluding myself. I don’t write because Eminem’s public feud with his mum terrified me. I don’t write because I would prefer to be someone else. I don’t write because I never learnt how to write fiction. I don’t write because I lack imagination. I don’t write because compulsive and addictive behaviour isn’t a good reason. I don’t write because I don’t think anyone would value it. I don’t write because I am scared of not being able to follow through. I don’t write because I don’t want to feel exposed. I don’t write because I am scared I will be ignored. I don’t write because I care what people think. I don’t write because I am not an intellectual. I don’t write because sometimes I wish I was. I don’t write because I am scared of facing contradiction. I don’t write because I know I can’t change, and writing will only remind me of that. I don’t write because it means living. I don’t write because I am scared of accountability. I don’t write because it’s not a proper job. I don’t write because I don’t feel real. I don’t write because improvement seems impossible. I don’t write because self-actualising means taking away the safety of obscurity. I don’t write because I am not one of them. I don’t write because I am scared.


Writing like any relationship is a measure of how one lives in the world. Writing is a contract. Writing is a promise to find meaning in touch, in feeling, in emotion. Writing is a state of value that requires deciding for yourself what its meaning is and committing to it. Writing means trusting instinct. Writing is about showing up. Writing is about trying to do the right thing when presented with many options, diversions, obstacles. Writing is about shunning opacity. Writing is about pushing against the boundaries of coherence. Writing is about other people. Writing is about sitting firmly in space and negotiating liminality. Writing is about making sense. Writing is collaboration. Writing is about fencing in ideas and leaving them to the weeds to make walkways. Writing is about writing.

- HP

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