Why We Write | Teen Ink

Why We Write MAG

November 30, 2009
By Frankie Masi BRONZE, San Diego, California
Frankie Masi BRONZE, San Diego, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“I write for the same reason I breathe.”

I found this written in my best friend's journal one day. It took me a while to figure out exactly what she meant.

The first thing that came to my mind when I considered why I write was, because I have to. But that wasn't exactly a pleasant idea. I write the beautiful things I write because I have to? That didn't make sense.

I don't write because I have to. I write because I want to. But it's deeper than that.

I write because otherwise I would scream. Because if I didn't have a pen in my hand, my feelings would circle my mind until they clawed their hurtful essence into the walls of my brain for good. If I didn't write, I would be more confused than a penguin at the North Pole. I write because I would go homicidal if I didn't vent somehow. My friends have too many burdens already; it would be selfish to rage at them about my life.

When I write, I can crumple the paper up and maybe even burn it. Even though that doesn't always get rid of my negative feelings, it simulates action. And having that feeling lets me live my days happier.

So, I don't really write because I have to. I write because I need to? That still isn't right.

So I looked at it again. I examined the intricacies of words and how they are just sounds woven together to make other sounds in a way that moves us. Every slip of a syllable, every twist of a vowel explodes emotions that can't be achieved any other way. With every synonym and every adverb, our senses tingle and warm up.

I guess I've arrived at an idea. An idea why Shakespeare immersed us in love, and why Margaret Mitchell takes us back to a place we know as our own country but feels like a different world. A reason why Emily Dickinson wove her words with gentle purpose, and why Emily Brontë wrote us a chilling love story.

I write to connect. I write because I know that if I write about my feelings and who I am, somewhere across the world, someone else will read it and it will mean something to them. I write to make myself known to someone else.

And maybe that's why the classics become classics. They strike a chord with millions of people all at once and make a permanent mark in literary history for being timeless.

I hope that some day I can have even my tiniest thoughts and feelings understood and even recognized.

So, yes, I write for the same reason I breathe.

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This article has 16 comments.

on Dec. 15 2011 at 8:51 pm
camohunter19 GOLD, Sedro-Woolley, Washington
14 articles 13 photos 128 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it." "Violence is never the answer! It is a question, and the answer is yes."

I can only name two literary pieces that will bring tears to my eyes: Where the Red Fern Grows and Why We Write. Both are pieces to be  read by thousands and spoken by millions. "Heros live forever, but legands never die" --Babe Ruth in The Sandlot

on Aug. 9 2011 at 7:37 pm
secrets_of_silence GOLD, Gisborne, Other
12 articles 0 photos 439 comments

Favorite Quote:
life had i loved the more
had it but passed away
as quietly as the day
ebbs from the darkening star.

-emanuel litvinoff

it is always beautiful when one of us learn the reason we love to feel the pen in the hand.....

ifairyu said...
on Jul. 25 2010 at 7:54 pm
ifairyu, San Jose, California
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My humor has died and let me with the ashes of sarcasm." - Myself.

amen, brother, amen. I can probably assure that every aspiring writer on this network can understand this, feel this way because writing is everything to us.

on Feb. 16 2010 at 6:43 pm
That is very true and very heartfelt

You are an inpirational writer

Keep up the good work!

ZenGirl SILVER said...
on Jan. 29 2010 at 12:13 pm
ZenGirl SILVER, Taber, Alta, Other
5 articles 0 photos 13 comments
That was beautiful and so true! <3

on Jan. 6 2010 at 11:21 am
EnglishGirl BRONZE, Sopot, Other
4 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I will tell you,as I have told many of them,right man will come in the end", Jane Austen, "Life is your party, so enjoy!", "It's worse doing nothing, than doing bad thing", "Life is the thing that happens to you while you're planning something else"

Great, how can I send you that?

on Jan. 3 2010 at 2:07 pm
ThatBlondGuy SILVER, Mableton, Georgia
5 articles 1 photo 69 comments
Well, sure!

on Jan. 3 2010 at 2:05 pm
EnglishGirl BRONZE, Sopot, Other
4 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I will tell you,as I have told many of them,right man will come in the end", Jane Austen, "Life is your party, so enjoy!", "It's worse doing nothing, than doing bad thing", "Life is the thing that happens to you while you're planning something else"

Well, I wrote about a totally diferent thing. Would you like to read it?

on Dec. 9 2009 at 3:49 pm
ThatBlondGuy SILVER, Mableton, Georgia
5 articles 1 photo 69 comments
Thankfully you express yourself very well and I know exactly what you're talking about.

You seem like a really good writer, so I hope you can write about a wide variety of topics. Unfortunately, too many teens write about how much they love writing, and that's the only think they write about!

But good post.

Sideways8 said...
on Dec. 8 2009 at 11:58 pm
Breathing allows us to make a connection in the world and writing is that connection to the world. Or, I suppose you could say that writing allows you to make a connection in the world. That makes sense.

But that's not why I breathe. I breathe so that I can form ATP by...I can explain the biology if you really want. But. Perhaps better wording would be that breathing allows her to do the same thing that writing does? Doesn't sound as poetic, but makes more sense.

on Dec. 6 2009 at 9:48 pm
writingtiger25 BRONZE, New Providence, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not follow the path that others make and force you to follow. Make your own path and leave a trail." -Dalai Lama

Thank you thank you thank you ever so much for finally giving me an answer. I have asked myself that question for years. You have finally made me realize my answer. I forever admire you for that.

izz123 GOLD said...
on Dec. 4 2009 at 2:44 pm
izz123 GOLD, Gaithersburg, Maryland
13 articles 5 photos 24 comments
I think I might know what she means by her comparison to breathing. I was a bit confused when I first read the ending line, but after thinking for a while, I came to a conclusion. Why do we breathe? Even though we have to, it's not simply that. Using that logic, no one would have a will to live. But, as the author hinted towards the end of her magnificent article, she also writes because she wants to leave a mark, an impression, through the connection she described. And if you think about it, doesn't everyone live their lives like that, even if subconsciously. Everyone wants to do something with their lives, something significant, if not to the whole world than to themselves at least. This significant something doesn't even have to be writing. It can be a scientist discovering a cure for cancer, or something as simple as finding a true love. But for some people, like the author, writing happens to be her significant something. And that's why she breathes, that's why she writes.

P.S. Frankie M., I'm sorry if I'm way off with my interrpruptation, but that's just what I thought when reading your article. That's why I write, anyway.

Great article by the way :)

Sideways8 said...
on Nov. 30 2009 at 11:37 pm
So here's the deal, Frankie M. My identity is irrelevant. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get to your writing. On the surface, it's pretty good writing. You obey the laws of parallelism, use semi-colons well (that's rare) and have an extremely strong voice. You know that you don't have to write like a scholar to write well. I commend you for that. Compelling introduction, also.

I understand your point, but I'm a bit confused about the connection to breathing. At the end you come to the conclusion that you write to connect with people. Is this the reason you breathe? To connect with people? Perhaps you need to make it more clear that this connection is vital to you, as is breathing.

Immediately the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower came to mind when I read this piece (it's the fourth best book I've read and if you haven't read it, you should). I searched the internet far and wide for some applicable quotes to explain my point and I came across a few. I hope that you've read it so that this will make more sense to you. I'm not sure of the best way to present the quotes, so I will do it the worst way:

"...And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

"I have decided that maybe I want to write when I grow up. I just don't know what I would write."

"I hope it's the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he's sad. I hope it can be that for him."

"I have to stop writing now because I am too sad."

"Sometimes, I look outside and I think that a lot of other people have seen this snow before. Just like I think that a lot of other people have read those books before. And listened to those songs. I wonder how they feel tonight."

The protagonist in this story writes, like you, because he has to. He feels like an outcast and so he has this desire to eliminate that feeling for anyone else. Perhaps this is like you, too? I do not know. You feel disconnected, so you feel the need to connect people with you and with others? Perhaps.

Interesting title. I hadn't noticed it at first. Why WE Write. You and your best friend? You and all the other writers in the world? I like that it's ambiguous.

I like the penguin humor. I love the eighth paragraph's "...in a way that moves us." Beautiful.

I really, really like this piece. If I didn't I would not have said all of this. If you have not, read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Actually, if you read that you must read The Catcher in the Rye first. They are similar books and The Catcher in the Rye is only good before Perks. They have similar themes, but I think that Perks applies more. So. Great job. Keep writing and keep sharing because, look, your hopes have already come true.

Taz13 said...
on Nov. 30 2009 at 10:27 pm
Frankie, you are a truly amazing writer. you make me want to write even though i know i am horrible at it. you are a TRUE inspiration. keep writing! (:

Kraleeq said...
on Nov. 30 2009 at 10:25 pm
This is such a great article! I can really see why some people love writing so much, because to them it means something much deeper than anyone else can understand! Amazing work!

AnonymousGuy said...
on Nov. 30 2009 at 5:43 pm
This truely is a spectacular article! Like, seriously, I read this and I thought "YES!!! Someone who knows the essence of writing who ISN'T an adult!" I'll never forget what you've wrote here and i'll try to apply it to my writing as well! Kudos to a job well done! :)