Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers


Why do people write?

desk-3076954_1920It’s wonderful to be writing again after my daily commitment was severely interrupted by launching and marketing Freefall: A Divine Comedy. I’ve felt hollow during that time, as if something vital were missing from my daily diet. In fact, writing is as important to me as food. What is it about writing that is so necessary for me and I’m sure for other writers?

When I sit down at my computer, or in front of a sheet of paper, another world opens up to me. It’s not unlike what I experience at night before I fall asleep. The word “fall” seems key here: during those hours, we descend into the unconscious, into another level from our surface life. While the brain may be cranking out a conglomeration of images we’ve collected throughout the day, I don’t believe that’s all we’re doing when we sleep. I think dreams are more mysterious than that explanation implies.

How do you explain the imagination and all it encompasses? How do you constrain it by rationally trying to identify its source, its ability to help us soar on the back of words and create new configurations that end up being stories or poems? You don’t.

If you’re a writer, you wed memory, words, and imagination in a marriage that always surprises. And that’s what I missed during those dry days when I didn’t have access to that realm. I’m happy to be back.


2 thoughts on “Why do people write?

  1. Hi Lily,

    I found your link on a Facebook post from Pen-L Authors (of which I am one also). The imagination is a strange thing indeed. I’m constantly amazed or the creativity of my brain while I’m asleep. The movies are incredibly real and I never get bored

    Sometimes my imagination runs amok while I’m at the keyboard too. My favorite time is when the characters take over and start writing the story for me. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does it feels like magic.

    Happy writing,

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