I have always found writing extremely fascinating, ever since I was a child. I've always had this feeling, this inner restlessness that found no peace except in writing. And so I lost count of how many times, driven by this something inside me, I let myself go to my pen to pour everything onto a blank sheet. But every time it leaves me perplexed and I ask myself: where does this need come from? Why do we write? I assume that everyone has their own motivations. There are those who do it to satisfy their needs; who want to tell about themselves; who create a work of art; who want to provoke someone's love; who even for a question of money. But why like this?
Man has always felt the need to write, to fix something somewhere. Writing was born about 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. It basically arises from the need to start keeping track of stored goods and transactions performed, therefore initially it has a purely numerical function. This is how the first signs and symbols are born, to indicate something. Here, therefore, the relationship between what the philosopher Ferdinand De Saussure called "The signifier" and "The signified" begins to exist. The symbols and words begin to acquire an absolute value, but above all they begin to acquire a memory value. The content (or the signified) is imprinted in an expression (or the signifier), both of which taken in a system have a unique value, and thus "the sign" is born which gives life to a meaning. This meaning remains imprinted, since it is written, and is valid for anyone who reads it, therefore it acquires an educational and cultural value. So if writing in general was born from the need to create a testimony, why do people feel the need to write to narrate?
The poet Franz Kafka answered this question with just one word: restlessness. He never wrote to fascinate, but out of the need for a restlessness that screamed inside him. Restlessness creates an obsession that gives rise to the need to write, not to say something, but to fix that thought, idea, restlessness, on a sheet of paper. I find myself very much in his words. When I start writing, regardless of what emotion I'm feeling, I feel the need to write everything down on a sheet of paper and only once I lift the pen from the sheet I can find relief. To write, therefore, you must have something to say. This type of urgency is not only aimed at convincing the reader (even if it coincides with who is writing), but above all at shaking him up, making him realize that this restlessness is alive and needs expression. However, I believe that we need to cultivate these needs. Creativity also needs its own form to take, it's not enough to simply give it vent. Our creativity is hungry for knowledge; by reading we do nothing but feed our creativity. We trigger a process that is similar to that of falling in love: an irrepressible thirst for knowledge, for new and different emotions, for a new restlessness.
WHY DO WE WRITE? article written by GianLuca Santora in collaboration with Beauty & the Beast Publishing, Image by GianLuca Santora, former Intern at Beauty & the Beast Publishing