This week is Read Across America Week. In celebration I was asked to visit the middle school students at my school and express why I write and explain to them my experience at The Littleton Courier and what the roles of a journalist are.
Although it was extemporaneous speaking at its most severe (I felt like there wasn't a format, and no one was asking me many questions) I was able to ponder the answer to the most essential question of all: Why do I write?
My answer? Writing allows for the spread of ideas and creates awareness to many ignored causes. When I wrote an article on the White Mountain School's pellet stove, I was astounded to receive responses from businesses in the area who read my article and because of it, decided to research installing a pellet stove in their buildings as well. This was powerful. Something I wrote promoted an environmentally sustainable heat source that I even have in my own house!
When writing for a newspaper I can't be biased, but when writing on this blog I can express whatever I want. This is one of the benefits to technology: an increased ability to express one's self and their own thoughts. I adore writing editorials, and this is where I can do it. (Not that many people read my blog...yet.)
Another reason is that I am TERRIBLE at composing witty comebacks when they are most needed. I am the type that is struck with the most effective phrases after they are needed. This is why I prefer to write letters to people in regards to something that bothers me. When speaking to someone there is the pressure of not only their presence, but because of that, a pressure to come up with a quick response. Writing allows one to be perfectly alone and provides the time to reflect fully on what they want to say and how to say it. Instead of exploding at a friend, one can write a "civilized" letter that is direct without negative passion. One also sounds more intelligent in the written word (when used properly) then they do in reality, as synonyms for common words are easy to think of in the isolated comfort writing provides.
In conclusion, I write to spread ideas. I write to create an awareness of the world, and I write to express my opinions. Not only that, but I write to express my love for someone, my thanks to another, or my frustration at a different person. Writing is powerful. Writing settles dispute. Edward Bulwer-Lytton did say "the pen is mighter than the sword". It truly is.