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 CEO and co-founder Jacob Lewis. Jacob has written for the Washington Post, New York magazine, and the New York Observer, among other places. And he sometimes convinces himself that he could, if he really wanted, write a great novel.
I have always had an adversarial relationship with writing. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. It can be painstaking and aggravating and cause all levels of anxiety. But I also find imagination and storytelling too compelling to not write. Writing can be clarifying and guiding. It can provide organization and principle. But most of all, it can be liberating. Whether it’s breaking through the constraints of my own angst-ridden writers’ block or simply finding a new storyline, it is freeing. I often think that there is no limit to the stories in the world. It’s just a matter of finding the next character or plot or setting. The difficulty in getting there is, in some perverse, way, part of the pleasure. Knowing that when I succeed, I prove to myself that there is always more to come. I write to keep the story going.
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.