Why Do You Write?

August 1, 2017 | By | 26 Replies More

We’re giving away two copies of Sweta’s SARIS AND A SINGLE MALT this month, TELL US WHY YOU WRITE in the comments for a chance to win!

How many times have you, the writer, been asked “Why do you write?” How often do we believe that we know why we write? But if you mindfully ponder over it (take a deep breath/meditate/stop over-analyzing yourself), you might realize that different reasons drive us each time. Sometimes the words pick us and use us as a conduit to come out; other times, we use words as our trustworthy ally and rely on them to articulate our most intimate emotions.

In summer of 2014, my mother died suddenly—she was headed to vacation with my dad and the next thing we knew, she was in the hospital. Even before the wheels of the airplane had touched the runway of the international airport in New Delhi, India, my mom was gone. I wrote a collection of poems, Saris and Single Malt, in four days. The collection chronicles my physical and emotional journey as I flew to India, tried to fight the inevitable, and succumbed to the grief of a motherless world.

The book came out in summer of 2016 and became an Amazon best-seller. In August, 2016, my brother and sister-in-law hosted the book launch party for “Saris and a Single Malt” in Singapore. In August 2017, I am celebrating the one-year anniversary of this most personal poetry collection in California with my father, extended family, friends, and readers. But this journey of mourning to celebration has taken me three LONG years. The words in my book, which I wrote about and for my mother, have hurt a lot before they healed me. I will never be the same again.

I wrote Saris and a Single Malt because I didn’t know how else to handle my feelings or grief. I wrote the book because I feel everything intensely and deeply; not everyone has the bandwidth to understand the depths of my vulnerability. Majority of those who have read the book confessed that they too felt a lot of similar feelings after losing a loved one. Saris and a Single Malt made them feel less alone and a lot less self-conscious of their grieving process.

I didn’t write the book to diss anyone even if I sound angry in the book with a few people. I have always allowed myself to feel my emotions with utmost honesty instead of suppress or judge them. Isn’t that how you heal? Those were my initial, raw thoughts, and I am over them. I didn’t turn my grief into poems to win the daughter-of-the-year award. Saris and a Single Malt happened to me, and I am grateful that a book about my mother has found so much love in the world.

Why do you write?

Sweta Srivastava Vikram www.swetavikram.com, featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” is a bestselling author of 11 books, wellness columnist, and mindfulness writing coach. Sweta, whose work has appeared in The New York Times amongst other publications across nine countries on three continents, is an award-winning writer and a graduate of Columbia University.

She is also the CEO-Founder of www.nimmilife.com, which helps creative professionals nurture their overall health and wellness, while elevating their productivity, using alternative healing sciences like yoga, Ayurveda, holistic nutrition, mindfulness, and yoga.

~~~~Writer | Marketer | Wellness Entrepreneur~~~~

Web: http://www.swetavikram.com

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Email: sweta@swetavikram.com

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LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/swetavikram

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Category: Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing

Comments (26)

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  1. I write because I want to help, comfort and inspire others who want to be helped, comforted and inspired.

  2. Don says:

    As a kid, I lied a lot and was a big menace. I could instantly cook up believable and detailed stories to get out of all my mischief. My stories started making more sense as I grew up. Also, I had developed a taste for fictions during my engineering.
    Almost a year ago, a friend of mine said these beautiful words to me “A good liar can become a great writer.” These words did not make sense at first but I started writing with the slight inspiration he gave me. Now I have been writing for a whole year. My first book is almost complete.

  3. Pamela Power says:

    I write to make sense of the world.

  4. At present, I write because Donald Trump is president. Working on my memoir reminds me of who I am and what I value. It keeps me centered amidst the chaos.

    More importantly, if I did not hit my personal journal first thing every morning, I would remain curled up in bed, unshowered and unfed, day after day until someone called to tell me the nightmare was over. As a woman who has survived p*^%sy grabbing, who cares about the planet, and who has African-American friends with teenaged boys, writing is the healthiest place to vent my fear and grief. Phew! That felt good.

  5. Kendra says:

    I write to articulate my feelings. I dive deep into the abyss of life and the
    lessons I have learned on my journey. I grew up a lonely only adopted child with a vast imagination station (please watch your step as you disemark my ride) I found home 50 years later and 5 full siblings! This is what I am writing about now. If I could not write I would go insane!

  6. Jeanne Felfe says:

    I write to stay sane. Instead of having mental arguments with real people, I turn to my characters and let them work out issues that may or may not be a part of my life. If I write I stay out of depression.

  7. Adan Ramie says:

    I write because I spent too many years keeping quiet. I found my voice on paper, and I keep it strong by doing the work. Thanks for reminding me of that today, Sweta!

  8. Mary says:

    Stories are like waves of water, washing over me. If I don’t write them, I would drown in them.

  9. I write because I must! My brain gets too full, and writing is a release. I also write the stories I want to read.

  10. For me, writing is like stoking a fire; I enjoy being mesmerized by its flames.

  11. Maria Hamilton Abegunde says:

    I write because it is, as Afua Cooper states, “… a spiritual compulsion which demands that I put pen to paper and open my mouth and chant.” To write is an ancestral mandate, one that I made and agreed to keep. As a memory keeper, my path is to tell the stories of those who no longer can and for those who need a mirror that reminds them why they need to tell their stories. As my sister-friend reminded me once: “We tell the story so we can be free.”

  12. Karen Elwis says:

    Because since I was first able to fashion recognisable letters it has been impossible not to…

  13. I can’t NOT write. Honestly, I’m such a grumpy mess when I can’t write that I have to make time to do it.

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