Why do we write? I mean, I know why I write. One reason I write because it’s something that makes me happy and it drives me crazy if I don’t. I write because I fall in love with stories that I have to get out of my head before someone declares me insane. I love the feeling of the words pouring out of me and the sense of accomplishment when I’ve finished a novel, and found something worth getting to on the other side of it.
But that’s just one reason to write. That’s my reason.
I’m just one person.
So why do all of you write?
I can name a few reasons that I’ve come across in writers I’ve met. I know some people write so they can honor someone. I know some people write so they can get a point across. Or to get money. Or to get famous. To forget about their own lives. To raise awareness. To share their personal story. To prove that they can. To seem more impressive. To seem more accomplished. To inspire others. To look at things in a different light. To send a message. To pursue a goal. To build a future.
To teach a lesson.
To learn a lesson.
To be understood by others.
To forget what others think.
Because they are brave.
Because they are scared.
Because they are lost.
Because they are found.
There are so many reasons, and those are just the ones off of the top of my head. I realize that this is actually something that nobody ever asks. Not in interviews. Not in person. I’m in a creative writing group. I’m in a creative writing club. But nobody in either of those ever asks someone else why they write. Because it’s personal, or maybe they don’t even know yet. Because the fuel behind our writing is what makes it unique. Like everyone’s own secret recipe.
Everyone has their own reason for writing, and that’s something that is respected.
But there is something important in finding this reason. Knowing why we are writing is what is going to keep us writing. And that’s the ultimate goal, right? To keep writing. Whether it is to keep writing until you die or until you finish this goal you have in your sights, we all want to keep writing.
We can write pep talks. We can read author interviews. We can listen to other people’s stories of success. We can hope and we can dream. But none of that actually matters if we don’t know, really know, why we are writing what we are writing.
My challenge for you is to give this some thought. Better yet, write it down. Think about why you are writing what you are writing. Why you want to keep doing it. Why you are pursuing this goal instead of any other. It might be personal. It might be obvious. You might plan to publish. You might be writing for yourself.
Maybe you are writing for someone else.
If you want, comment about it. I’d love to hear what some of you find in this world of words that we find ourselves lost in. I always love to interact with my readers.
Or if you want, write it down for yourself. Come back to it when you are feeling kind of overwhelmed by your writing project. By your deadlines or your even by a problem in your story. And I’m not talking about writing some huge pep talk. I’m not talking about something detailed or extensive.
One sentence. “I write because…”
Finish the sentence. Write something that makes sense to you, even if it won’t mean anything to anyone else. Like your own little secret wrapped up in one statement. One truthful piece of motivation. Come back to it when you need to.
Sorry this was a short post… Finals start tomorrow. Studying is kind of imperative.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!