Why Do I Write?


Why do I write?

Is it to impress?

Do  I write in order to gain material rewards and receive accolades?

I don’t write to impress. I’m well aware of the fact that my skills in writing are nowhere near excellent. I am not even halfway my journey to excellence in writing. I am not even sure if I would get there before I breathe my last. I have a long long way to go. Perhaps I may need a dozen of lifetime (or more) in order to surpass the accomplishments of the likes of William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Browning, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy and the likes.

Neither material rewards nor accolades I crave when I write. Saying “there’s no money in writing” is like a broken record. But that’s the truth. Writing is not financially rewarding. Unless you are a script writer of one of the popular TV networks or movie outfits in your country or a novelist who belongs in the league of the likes of J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown and Stephen King.

The rewards that writing gives, I believe, are hard to quantify. Such rewards are transcendental.

What about the accolades? Not even! As a matter of fact, when I write and allow people to read my works I am unnecessarily putting myself under the microscope. Instead of accolades I may get criticisms instead. This is one reason why a friend said he would never write for any publication fearing that he may not  be able to take negative comments that his work may generate.

I may have received some good comments from  my  friends  for  some    works   I made in the past.   But of course,    those   comments may have   been   either meritorious or simply generous.

But aside from good comments some of my works have angered some individuals who in one way or another were offended. Writing sometimes is a magnet of trouble. I remember quite well when I wrote a satirical poem (about a wolf in sheep’s clothing) when I was still working in a Catholic college. The priest who felt alluded to reportedly asked the Sister-President of the college to summon me to the latter’s office so he could talk to me. However he was dissuaded from pursuing his request. The priest never bugged me again but I wrote another poem for him.

So, why do I write then?

It’s hard to explain. It’s something like why do people need to eat when they are hungry… why do they need to drink when they are thirsty… why do they need to take medicine when they are sick.

There is a kind of hunger within me that only writing can satisfy. There’s an insatiable thirst in my soul that would go away only when I read the verses I write.

I suffer from a kind of a disease that will be cured only when I write in sentences or verses  the equivalent words of the thoughts and feelings that drown my being during quiet nights. Writing has some kind of a tranquilizing effect on me.

I must release my pain, anger and disagreement by writing about them or else they will haunt me endlessly. When I feel wronged I haveto respond, not by violent means. I respond in a creative manner…thropught satirical poems. i do it using anthropomorphism.

I just don’t keep quiet when I notice human follies, especially if displayed by my friends. Again I resort to anthropomorphism. I use animals to represent their irrationalities. It may hurt them and make them angry but the truth may be bitter but sweeter than the sweetest lie. VERO NIHIL VERIUS. Nothing is truer than the truth.

Pain is like a prison cell. It is by writing that I break free from it. As my heart churns out the words I go through the pain, not escape from it. And as I write the final sentence or verse the pain vanishes.

Even my happiness and satisfaction wouldn’t be complete if I do not write about them. I need to  capture in either prose or poetry those moments so I can feel more deeply the joy they bring. I do write about  them so I can relive those moments any time I wish to.

I write  not to impress but rather to express my thoughts, feelings and ideals. Writing is my freedom…my happiness.

I need neither material rewards nor accolades for what I write. The poems, essays and stories I create are themselves the rewards.



Teacher-Writer M, A, and D are the initials of my two first names (Massuline and Antonio) and my mother's family name (Dupaya). Ligaya (a Filipino word which means happiness in English) is my family name. MAD is actually one of my nicknames aside from Tony and Ching. My full name is Massuline Antonio Dupaya Ligaya. Many times I was asked the question "Why do you write?" I don't write for material rewards nor adulation. When I write poems, stories, and essays, when I do research, seeing them completed gives me immense joy and satisfaction. I don't write for cash incentives, "likes," and "praises." I would be thankful should I get those but the happiness and sense of fulfillment I feel when completing my works are my real rewards. Is teaching difficult? No! When I teach, I don't work but I play. My educational philosophy - "The classroom is my playground, the students are my playmates, and the subject is our toy." Proud to be me! Proud to be a FILIPINO! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Posted on September 23, 2014, in Creative Writing, Literature, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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