Nina Rastogi: Why I Write

In celebration of the National Day on Writing (October 20), we’re asking you why you write. So it only seemed fair that we, the Figment team, told you a little bit about why we write. Today we hear from Figment staffer (and journalist) Nina Shen Rastogi. Nina’s pieces on science and culture (and unicorns, and video games) have appeared in Slatethe Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune, among other places.  

Filmmakers need lights, cameras, actors.

Directors need a stage, maybe a script, and at least a handful of audience members.

Musicians need tubas or guitars or whatever.

Painters need canvasses, sculptors need clay, composers need an orchestra.

But writers just need pens and their brains—or their laptops, if they’re fancy about it.

I’ve tried my hand at a lot of different art forms, and each one has its pleasures. But most of them come with a lot of stuff. Stuff can be intractable. Stuff doesn’t always do what you, the artist, want it to. When I write, on the other hand, I’m constantly aware of the notion that the only thing standing between me and a perfect creation is my imagination, my intellect, and my stamina. (And a good editor, who is worth her weight in gold.) Sometimes that’s exhilarating, and sometimes it’s terrifying. But it’s why I write.

Figment is celebrating the National Day on Writing with the New York Times Learning Network, the National Writing Project, and Edutopia. Be sure to tell us why you write on our festival page, read author Q-and-A’s from the New York Times Learning Network and check out more great essays about why writers write at NWP.


16 thoughts on “Nina Rastogi: Why I Write

  1. Why do we write? Why do people sit down and just write? Maybe it’s to get our emotions out of our head, or is it because we want other people to know what we are thinking. These could be the answers we are looking for, but it’s not mine. You see, the way I see it, is there are three reasons why people write.
    The first reason is because someone is telling you to or is making you write, for instance, a teacher or a parent. This for most people is probably the case.
    The second reason is that people need to share their emotion or express themselves. Sometimes people just don’t know how to tell someone about how they feel, so they writ it in a journal or a diary. Which is fine, but sooner than later you’ll have to face the issue than just writing it down.
    Last but not least, reason numbers three. There are moments in our lives where we just need to write things down when they come into our head. The sudden urge to get that idea on a piece of paper before it’s gone.
    I’m not much of a writer because that’s just not my thing. When I do write though, I like to write about think outside the box. Write in such a way that is easy to read. I’m not talking about not using big words. I meant writing as if I were trying to get a point across by talking to you.
    I think most writing should be like that, a conversation between two or more people. Not writing as if you were narrating a story.

  2. Why I write:
    The reason why i write is simple i write because it tells my story whatever it is, whatever my soul has to say on that page for the day is in a way my peice of myself… a legacy to leave behind.

  3. WHY I WRITE:
    The reason why I write is simple yet complex the reason I cannot reallyu explain fully without telling you about me. I write as a release to express myself, the simple release of what I have to say the reason I write

  4. #Why I write
    I write to purpose a thesis of time or a thesis of life. Writing gives me the freedom to express my mind. Sometimes to express the thoughts of others,that don’t know how. Simple words can make an extraordinary change in someone’s life. Keep writing, Write to inspire those around you and those that aren’t. Giving words of wisdom, Are sometimes the medicine of life.

  5. Why I write is to express myself through things that can’t be said.Writing is an efficient part of life that can tell others how you may have felt or feeling when writing what you feel is important.

  6. I write to express hiden feelings that I cannot reveal to anyone but my paper and pencil. I write becasue writting is a world where anything can be true, even the most crazy outgragious dreams are able to become true.Writting is freedom of the mind.

  7. #Why I write
    Dancing, drawing, singing, acting, and writing are all forms of art and expression. My form is acting but I dable in writing.
    Honestly majority of the time I write is because I am told too. I have to admit school is the place where most of my writing takes place. I would also like to improve my writing skills and the only way that can happen is if I continue to write. Like I said before writing is a form of experssion and I feel its a great way to express yourself when you have alot to say.

  8. why do i write? … I write for the future.
    I write because the world is soooo interesting, so interesting that i cannot just keep it to myself. I want everybody to know what went on durnig this century..
    I write for the future, I write for the life.

  9. I write for a couple of reasons. For one,I need to know how to write to be able to graduate school. But I write because it is sometimes the only way to get my feelings out and make sense. Sometimes i write just to write.

  10. Disreguard that half a piece above… the true reason why I write is because I as a human being have a story. I write for those who cannot, I wirte for those to hear my words and be awed by my fluents spewings of my mind. I write as a relief of stress and the hard days that consumes me. I write for the joys and sorrows in my life and I wirte simply because I can. I like to express the feeling of a good day or the hurt of a bad one. I like to write for thoughts, I like to write for myself. I like to write because I have no other ways to tell exactly who I am in formal introductions. I write because i am a poet with a deep mind and a troubled soul. I am a thinker and to elaborate my soul through the page so when I write down my feelings I do not seem to be engaged with the world but I feel as though I am relieving stress and having the freedom just like when I press my pen’s quill to the page and as free as the ink that flows from it. I think everything we know and everything we are and believe in came from a thought that was written down, and without them we would know nothing,be nothing and have nothing. I think the world writes for itself everyday. By talking i feel what I say, who I am just blends in with the insessant noise of a blurred reality, but as i put my pen to the pages on which my thoughts flow….I in a way feel heard. Simply said I write because it is a way for my story to be heard.

  11. Why I write? The overall reason I write is to escape from reality. Writing is that breath of fresh air, that moment you need to yourself. Writing allows the world to communicate and express ourselves in other ways besides verbally.

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