No, I don't mean, "Why do we create a written companion to our spoken language?" It's obvious that much is necessary, but is it necessary that we take words and weave them into poetry, or build vast worlds entirely from our minds?
I believe there is a reason we write, and I believe it has to do with the stories themselves. Many will claim that people write to be heard, so that others will notice and remember them. This belief lies in the value of being memorialized by your words -- that they might be remembered forever. This hits very close to home with human nature, we all wish to leave our mark on the world. It's driven by a fear of living a life without value, leaving behind nothing. Written word is becoming increasingly immortal, with the internet ensuring the content cannot be destroyed, like physical copies could be. So certainly, many more are turning to writing as a way to create something to leave as a memento. While this is enticing, and perhaps a reason why many write, it is not why I write.
Besides writing to leave a legacy, many write simply for profit. There is money to be made in literature, if you know how to target an audience and write for them. Not so much for poetry, much to my misfortune, but some poets make it work. If you can manage to make money off of your imagination, then you truly have an unending resource for sale. If I'm being honest with myself, I would love to make money from writing. Maybe someday I will, if I ever scrape together the motivation to finish my novel or actually submit my poetry. However, I don't believe that is why I write either.
Honestly, I write for the story. This may sound strange, but stay with me and I promise it'll make sense. There are vast worlds in my mind, filled with characters and stories. Phrases jump out at me, midday at work, or while I'm watching Netflix. I'll type them up on my phone, and get back to what I'm doing. Occasionally, I'll have an especially vivid dream, and know that it's meant to be a story. It's strange, sometimes I don't feel like I'm writing a plot, just simply recording a tale that is already there so other people can enjoy it. I write because there are stories that need to be told. It's as simple as that. I definitely write for personal satisfaction, but in the end, it's to breathe life into something entirely new, because it's there and it needs to be given form. There are so few of us truly talented in the art of creating poetry and writing books, why would I not at least try to discover if I might be one of them? It would be a disservice to the art itself.
The next time you're writing, if you are a writer, keep in mind you're performing a task that is vital to the human condition. Sure, you're leaving your mark, and sure, you might even be able to make money off it, but you're creating something from nothing. Never underestimate the importance of creating something beautiful. If you don't write at all, you can disregard that last part. Just buy our books, please. We need to put bread on the table somehow.