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 Slate, the Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune, among other places.
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.