People often ask me what I want to do when I “grow up.” It’s a good question, but I've always felt like it was asked too early for some of us. When I was 14 years old, and you asked me what I wanted to do when I got home, my answer was probably eat, sleep, watch TV and avoid you. I got those bases covered. But now, I feel like I have an answer. Whenever I'm asked I end up saying I want to write, but that’s such an all-encompassing answer. I can write manuals on cookware or write emails to co-workers. But what the hell does anyone mean when they say “I want to write.”
I know people who write because they want to be known. Whether money is the focus or not, they want to go down as one of the best. These people are in every profession, and it can be a good or bad reason to do anything. Sometimes writing things dependent on the views of their readers, falling into a style and speaks to a group and only a single group. Sometimes they enjoy the same aspect to write about, and have become so great at doing just that, they fall under the title of one of the greats like writers before.
Sometimes, people want to write to be heard. They feel lost and voiceless in the rabble of thousands of overbearing others. Sometimes, the world itself shuts these people down, where they feel like the world doesn’t want to hear their voice and writing is the only way they can be heard. They beat the system designed to quiet their voice and express themselves in ways that I could only wish to understand. They establish their problems and fears with those that care about them and allow those emotions to become something to be known, instead of only guessed at.
For me, and many others, writing is about giving back. We’ve read and pressed so the words life lessons of others into our brains until we feel like it’ll spill out if we don’t get words on paper. We write to share the same way someone shared to us. We express ideals and goals, hopes and dreams about what the world should be, how people should act, what life should be. We push on through the thoughts of fame or money, and hopes that our words will help others through whatever rough patches the world throws them. They way others helped us.
And sometimes, we hope to cultivate an imagination so strong, it continues on this beautiful trend. We hope that some boy will miss out on sleep once again just to get one more chapter in, one more word that will push them along their dreams that their words can be heard, and that they can be known and create a new world. Writing to create another life, where all others can be involved, like I was involved the letters of those before me.