Why Write?: Part 2

What God’s speaking of creation into being really means is not symbolic. It is the only non-symbolic language in existence. When God utters, pronounces, speaks—choose your word—the word and the thing are one; they are synonymous. By uttering the word, the thing is brought forth. Amazing! Thus, language is a function of the divine nature reflected in human speech, in lowly human words. Even more amazing! Like that lowly maiden who birthed the King of Kings, God stables Himself in our words, incarnating His attributes through our communications so that we can then understand some semblance (I chose that word purposefully) of the meaning of His descending to us to raise us back up.

Lowly words, lowly maiden, infinitely high God.

When we write, we reflect our ability to create, being made in our Creator’s image. While we can’t create ex nihilo (“out of nothing”), we can create out of what we have around us, and that creation (art, language, etc.) reflects the image of God as Creator.  When we write, we communicate who we are to others, what it means to be human, what it means to be a rational, communal animal.  When we write, we live, we love, we are (and He is). Even when we think, we use another attribute of the divine image: our rationality. The deeper we think—the more critically we engage our reason and approach truth—the closer our thinking imitates the Divine Thinker. As God incarnates Himself in His Son, we incarnate our thoughts in our words.

Why do I write? I write because I am a creature made in God’s image. I write because the God of all things is the Word, and through language, we communicate with other creatures made in that amazing, awesome (“full of awe”) Image/Word. I write because I can—because writing matters. If you believe, perhaps even a little by now, that writing is important, join with me in understanding that everything we do, we do to the glory of God.  When we post to Facebook, to Twitter, to an academic journal, to our teachers for a grade, we are glorifying (or not) God. What a terrible and blessed gift.

The God of awesome aspect should make us tremble and bless His name for such a power. Don’t use it wastefully. Even if you don’t “like” to write, right now at least, recognize God wants you to use this gift wisely. In order to use it thusly, the more you learn to think critically and develop an awareness of your various audiences, which can be done through every course you take and every text you read, you are developing that gift.

Even if you don’t believe in God, the power within language enabling us to communicate between two separate creatures creates a burden of respect that should place upon us a duty to take writing seriously. Therefore, using every opportunity we have to think better and write more effectively should be paramount.

So why do I write? I write because of the power of writing. I write because of the burden, the duty, of writing. I write because it is right and meet so to do. Why will you write?

The Department of English promotes the knowledge and appreciation of literature, introduces basic concepts of rhetoric and argumentation, and helps students master effective writing principles. If you are passionate about creative writing, communication skills, or critical thinking, we invite you to visit our website for more information.
Dr. Toby Coley

Dr. Toby Coley

Dr. Coley is Assistant Professor in the Department of English. He specializes in Composition and Rhetoric and has conducted empirical (qualitative) research on the role of digital media in the writing classroom as well as archival, historical, and textual research in the areas of religion, composition, and composition history.
Dr. Toby Coley

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About Dr. Toby Coley

Dr. Coley is Assistant Professor in the Department of English. He specializes in Composition and Rhetoric and has conducted empirical (qualitative) research on the role of digital media in the writing classroom as well as archival, historical, and textual research in the areas of religion, composition, and composition history.