Why do you write? What I love about this question is that there are infinite answers. Every writer has his/her unique reasons and those reasons can change based on mood, a phase in life, and/or the particular writing piece.
On one level, this can be a practical question. Seriously, why do you write when it is such a difficult field to succeed in? It can also be a spiritual question. What in your soul calls you to this creative outlet? From other writers, it can be a call for help or community. Why do we do this when it is so hard and it dredges up such painful insecurities? My favorite is when it is a question of wonderment and fascination. How in the world do you think up these ideas and what magical force compels you to see them through?
I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time lately, and once again, writing has been a solace. For the first time in a long time, I found myself writing just because I needed to write, and I realized that I felt guilty. As I sat there, typing furiously on my computer — not at the novel I “should” have been working on — just letting out all my frustration and pain, I realized that lately I’ve only thought of writing as “What can be published?”, “What will be a valuable asset to my back list?”, “What comes next in this series?”. And yeah, that’s all great, but I couldn’t help but think: is this all writing is for me anymore? I had to stop and ask myself:
Why do I write?
Here’s what I came up with:
I write because…
…I like it.
…I love it.
…I’m good at it.
…something in me needs to create art.
…I want to publish.
…I want to make a career out of it (one day).
…instinct tells me to.
…I enjoy the challenge.
…some of the stories I want to read haven’t been written yet.
…I want to offer my perspective on and critique of the world.
…I want to share the beauty I see in the world.
…sometimes it’s the only way I can express myself.
…it sets me apart from others in my life.
…I want to remember what I’ve lost.
…facing the harsh truth about your feelings is easier when you don’t have to speak it.
…I fear my own mortality and want to leave a legacy, however obscure, behind.
These, and many more, reasons are why I write.
Why do YOU write?