Why do you write? That’s a question most people ask other writers and a big question writers ask themselves. First let me narrow things a bit and say a writer isn’t just someone who writes novels but someone who also writes short stories, poems, plays, movie scripts, and yes even blogs.
Some people will give the vague but common answer, “It’s who I am” or “I can’t not write.” There is the even more common answer “I knew from the time I was a child that when I grew up I would be a writer.” Truth be told, though these answers are common and they are true in a sense, they aren’t the all defining reason why. I believe they are substitutes for a more surreal answer that maybe the writer just can’t understand. Either way it boils down to the fact that writers are driven to do so. As I said it’s a vague answer, like saying a Zebra is a Zebra because it can’t be anything else but a Zebra.
I believe what people are trying to say but can’t is this; we write because we have a need to express our feelings, thoughts, and ideas. We want to express them in a way that gives us some self satisfaction that we have conveyed what we wanted, the way we wanted to and in a way that others can appreciate our feelings, thoughts, and ideas as well. Writers have a need to share what is inside their heart and mind with the world. They can’t keep it inside like others can or they feel like they will explode.
The hardest part about writing is coming up with an idea, a single plot or thought to focus on and write around, no matter if it is a novel, poem, or blog. Once a writer has their idea the rest is created from their heart, mind, and soul and put forth on paper. Now this isn’t to say that it comes easy because it doesn’t. Every writer at some point will experience writers block. Every writer also has their own way to get around writers block too.
Being a successful writer doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bestselling novel or your poems are known world wide, or your blog has 4,000 followers. Being successful is when you put to paper what is in your head and what you wrote creates a world inside at least one readers mind. It pulls them into the story. They are invested in the characters. They are emotionally tied to what is happening and what will happen.
Me personally I never thought I would be a writer of anything. I have, however, always loved to read. If you look at my bookshelf at home you will see books upon books that I have read and I’m always buying new ones to read. I, however, never really gave writing anything of a second thought until around 2006. When me and my now wife reconnected 16 years after high school. She had always loved to write stories and poems. This opened my eyes to a part of me I never knew existed. I began writing poems and sexual stories for her. Eventually we started collaborating on a novel together. It is unfinished and we haven’t worked on it for a couple years and being the OCD individual I am this has driven me crazy. So I decided to start my own novel. Now I have my blog where I also write the occasional poem, plus a short story that I post a part of every couple days on and then I have my novel I am working on, as well as my personal journal. I have a ways to go on my novel, though, between work, blogging, and life in general it is difficult to dedicate a lot of time to it. My plan is to publish it and turn it into a series.
Now I say all this to answer the question, why do I write? For me, I write for several reasons. It’s a means of therapy for me. To vent frustrations that I can’t say to people without getting in trouble. It’s also a way to express things that have happened to me with my friends, family, and anyone else who wants to hear. A way for me to discuss my ideas and thoughts on certain topics and a way for me to convey my ideas of fiction or fantasy, to gain some satisfaction that what I wrote is well written and enjoyable and to receive feedback that others feel the same as I do about what I have written.
So the next time you are writing a blog, a short story, or a novel ask yourself, why do I write? And think about your answer and try to actually give a thoughtful well defined reason other than “Because it’s who I am.” So when people as you the same question, you are better equipped to provide them with something thought provoking instead of leaving them feeling they wasted their time asking.