Why We Write

woman writing on ground in parkWe write in order to share, for one thing—to share ideas, discoveries, emotions. Alone, we are close to nothing. In prolonged solitude, as I’ve discovered, we come very close to nothingness. Too close for comfort. Through the art of language, most inevitable of the arts—for what is more inevitable than language?—we communicate to others what would be intolerable to bear alone.
We write as well to record the truth, to unfold the folded lie, to bear witness to the future of what we have known in the present, to keep the record straight.
We write, most importantly in order to defend the diversity and freedom of humankind from those forces in our modern techno-industrial culture that would reduce us all, if we let them, to the status of things, objects, raw material, personnel; to the rank of subjects.

–Edward Abbey, Abbey’s Road, E.P. Dutton, 1979
Photo by Sasin Tipchai

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