Rana Shubair

Why Do We Write?

When I was in middle school, I used to babysit our next door neighbor’s kid, Daniel. He was a seven or eight-year-old boy. It wasn’t a hard task for a fourteen-year-old. All I had to do was tell him to read the bedtime story and put him to sleep. Then I had at least two hours of solitude. That’s when the magic began.

I’d take out my notebook and start writing things.  I kept a diary– numerous diaries in fact, and writing away gave me so much internal peace and gratification. What I couldn’t tell others, what I dreamed of achieving or becoming was all poured out in my diaries.

If I were to ask myself why I chose to write back then and how it all started, I can only think of one thing: Passion. I had discovered myself and what brought me peace. Yet along with the passion for writing grew my love for reading. I’d spend most of my recess time in the school library delving into different genres of fiction. Fiction appealed to my imaginative side and I’d take a book with me whenever I was alone and that included when I did the laundry. I’d read away as I waited for the washing machine or dryer to finish its load. Not a very romantic place to read, but it was one of them.

As I grew up, my writing began to be more purposeful. I still kept my diaries, but I also expanded my writing to write about my homeland. I live in an occupied Palestine and that means constant turmoil, instability, and unpredictable incidents. I felt that I had a message to send to the outside world to give them a glimpse of the way my people and I live in this forgotten part of the world.

When I want to wind down, I chose to write fiction or to write about ordinary things I love. The last article I wrote was on books and how they provide an escape for me. I don’t like to tie myself down by sticking to one writing genre. After all, writing is a liberating process. 

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