For my first class of my senior year, Creative Non-Fiction, we were asked to freewrite to this question. Here's my jam:
My style of writing often focuses on the experience, of myself, my characters, others etc., so I suppose I write to put those experiences that seem of value on the page. Also, writing helps to create new experiences, such as in class or with my various writing endeavors (Writers Community being a big one now), in addition to coming to terms with old experiences. I suppose too a part of me believes my experiences that I write about are important enough for others to know, as self-serving and self-important as that sounds. But really, I hope I write for the writing, the things writing can accomplish, like to further my and others' experiences here.
With my experience-oriented writing aesthetic, I read for similar reasons as well, like to see the experiences of other writers. Experience, I realize is a broad term, and I am okay with that. I suppose I go to different genres and writers to see a different definition of experiene. For instance, I would say I typically go to fiction/nonfiction looking for the experience of a story, to see what happens. In poetry, however, tracing and exploring the imagination seems most important to me. In critical essays, I find myself looking for the behind-the-scenes of others' writing/reading experiences, how others deal with experiences. Many of my peers say things about leaving a legacy or giving words of wisdom or whatever, but I feel like dealing with experiences is the important thing, so I guess I read and write for that reason. Cool.