We write to heighten our own awareness of life.
We write to lure and enchant and console others.
We write to serenade our lovers.
We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection.
We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal.
We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it.
We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth.
We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely.
We write as the birds sing, as the primitives dance their rituals.
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color.
It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.
February 1954, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5