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English 101: What is the Point of Writing?

November 6, 2017

Before the advent of an actual alphabet, the Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics to convey ideas and preserve history, and the early Germanic peoples used runes. Today, I use the English alphabet for similar reasons—to convey ideas and preserve history—but writing is sort of a universal tool for me that I use for so much more. As a published author, I believe in the words of Amy Tan, “Writing is an extreme privilege, but it is also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone else.”

I’ve always enjoyed writing letters, even before my incarceration. I’ve had numerous pen pals, and writing is an intimate way of conveying thoughts, ideas, and emotions. This is true beyond letter writing as any essay, story, or poem should strive to evoke a response from the reader.

I think that the world would be a dull place without good story tellers, and this goes for fact and fiction. In earlier days, there were minstrels and jesters who gave the gift of their stories to the audience, and now we have authors of novels, playwrites, script writers, and lyricists who utilize the written word to reach the world. With zero doubt, I know that writing is an extreme privilege and gift.

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