Why We Do What We Do

22 Jul



It’s a basic question: why?

Do we do it for love? Or do it for money?

How about neither?

Imagine turning on a radio, tinny music from a single small speaker bringing your favourite song to life.

Now imagine playing that same song on high-quality stereo speakers. Ah – much better.

Now turn up the bass until your bones throb in harmony, until that song has its own colour when you close your eyes. Air guitar. Air drums. You want – need – to sing along. Go ahead: drain your lungs. Belt out those lyrics, baby.

Take it another step: you are playing an instrument, the orchestra swelling around you, hot stage lights provoking beads of sweat, drums behind you making you startle at their chaos. Organized sound, yet you are lost inside it, surrendering to its triumph. Immersed in the music, you are part of something much bigger than you.

Athletes refer to “runners’ high” when endorphins, manufactured to inhibit pain, produce a feeling of euphoria. Musicians must experience a similar event, too.

And so it must follow that writers, during their creative process, experience a state of existence so intense it pings the brain in a unique way.

The science behind the creative process, while fascinating, has yet to be completely understood. A topic that provokes more research.

But for now we can simply call it “writers’ high”.

And that’s my theory as to why we do what we do.


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