“Whatever good is there within me, I am indebted to books for that; it is impossible to know man if one does not read books written by scientists and litterateurs about him. It is just possible that you do not get anything beyond a telling sentence in a book. But that single sentence brings you closer to man and gives birth to a new smile or may be a bitter feeling.” — Maxim Gorky
Why books are written? Why do we write?
According to those who write, writing is not a painless act. Writers have to pass through travails and deprivations. They are obliged to marshal themselves. Even then why do we write, what is at the base of the proclivity of writing?
We want to share our informations and our experiences, our thoughts and our travails. This is our our innate proclivity. There are certain things which cannot be communicated otherwise. We write to express those things. Those who write say that writing is not a spontaneous and effortless act. The writer has to pass through trauma. He has to organise himself. But even then he is eager to write. What is the explanation of his proclivity to write? Celebrated Bengali Writer Manik Bandyopadhyay addresses as follows.
Contemplation is based on particular experiences and perceptions. Predisposition to accumulate mental experiences, capacity to remain calm with the constantly increasing pressure and intensity of such experiences is known as talent. These symptoms arise due to a number of factors that can be analysed and explained. Many talented persons subscribe to the theory of inborn talent, out of either ignorance or to decorate themselves with a cover for security and mystery.
Propensity for writing is not different from other common proclivities. Learning mathematics, learning machines, learning to play, learning to sing, learning to earn livelihood — are all identical to have a craving to write. Being able to write depends upon the intensity of the aspiration to write and single-mindedness in learning. It is superfluous to state that whatever is to be written has to be in an accumulated state. Accumulated experiences create pressure on mind, this pressure finds outlet in writing . Pressure for expression adds strength and substance to writing.
I write due to my obligation to to share with others a small part of how and whatever I have found life and living to be. Whatever I have learnt and known is not known by anybody else. This knowing is not like knowing - “ leaf moves when raindrops fall on it”. But there is a common and broad basis of my awareness with the insight of others. I enable them to get a fraction of my acquisitions. Had I not enabled them to receive my experiences they would never have received them. But for the writer being boastful for this would be ludicrous.The writer is far more eager that his/her statement is communicated to his/her reader. Success of the reader to receive the same provides justification to his writings. The writer is just a pen wielding labourer. In the event of his wielding the pen not being useful, his living is even worse than the labourer who crushes stones by roadside. His living becomes meaningless.”
Act of writing motivates and enables the writer to organise and precipitate his/her informations. I write so that others read it and accept that I have a statement to make and that I am capable to communicate my statement.
I write to present myself as a person distinct from the rest. By writing I seek acceptance of my meaningful presence in the larger community.