Why Write?

Why do we write—when our books might not sell or even be borrowed from the library?

With few exceptions, we writers make little money in exchange for our talent. We might be admired, and parents might be proud of their child’s writing ability, but I’ve never heard one say, “I really hope my kid will become a writer.”

We write to express ourselves; to tell our side of the story, whatever the story is.

We write to share our ideas and our perspective with a world that might not even be listening.

Some writers might hope their words eventually will make their ideas immortal. It’s happened.

For many writers a situation isn’t fully comprehensible or real until they write about it. I write to grasp experience and make sense of it.

If you want to be a writer, have you ever asked yourself why? If you’ve got some answers, please share them in a comment!

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Are You a Real Creative Writer?

12 thoughts on “Why Write?

  1. I like what Andrea added, and I, too, have found this to be true. Funny, I have a blog column associated with an online journal Naked Earth; some of my former students dreamed up the concept for the journal, which is to promote the arts but also to raise money and awareness for a non-profit charity; their first one was for Heifer International. Anyway, my blog is called “Why Write?” I haven’t posted there in a while as the young folks are having deadline issues. But feel free to browse, everyone! And we had to add the word “arts” because typing in naked earth takes one to a porn site. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

  2. I write to express myself: my opinions, my feelings, my reaction to events, to reflect on the joys, sadness, ironies of being human. Sometimes these observations are just plain funny. I enjoy research and love to share information in an engaging way, as I’ve often done for for magazine articles. As the keeper of thousands of pages of letters and diaries from my parents, grandparents, and relatives, I’ve discovered so much about their lives–their love, triumphs, and losses over the last century, I feel compelled to write about them, relating their stories to the world at large. It’s a way not only bring them back to life, but also to inspire others to look to their families’ histories and make discoveries. It will help you discover who you are.

  3. Thanks for the inspirations Lynette.
    I write because I can. Showing up is ninety percent of the battle, but if I don’t try then I will never understand my potential and no one else will either. As a writer, when push comes to shove, I have to believe in myself. When people ask if I’ve published, I’ve learned not to explain or make excuses. I AM A WRITER and I defend my turf. Selling my work is a separate part of my craft. Until then: I improvise, I adapt and I will overcome.
    I can feel words running through my veins while I dream. In the morning I interrupt my shower to scribble ideas, phrases, onto paper. I write before I eat. As an individual I can reach a few individuals, but as a writer I have the tools to influence the world of others. An acquaintance of mine said to me: “You pays your dollar and you takes your chances.” How true it is; so I write, I create and I dream.
    Mauro Carrillo, Fiction and Screenplay writer writes:
    “I am a fictionist: I take a chart and a compass and I unfold an imaginative narrative of motivated incidents and give them a voice. A bedtime story becomes a novela with a double L. Sometimes an ‘e’ appears at twlight to guide my way in darkness…uncertainty becomes an essential element of my creativity. Simply put: I FICTION by spinning the ethos and pathos of my panegyric craft.”

  4. I write because I love to. It brings me to a quiet place, just tap, tapping these keys. There is something so magical in the pausing, the stopping, searching for, the discovering a word, a phrase , a line, that conveys a mood, a thought,an idea, a wish, a care, for this life here. Arlene

  5. Oooh, Arlene. I hear you. I love your comment, written in the rhythm of the act of writing at a computer. I share that satisfaction of discovering and creating, getting *le mot juste*—the perfect word or phrase to express and idea of feeling.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I now write, mostly because I have such a a hard time finding books that speak to me. I often feel there is only one story, or rather one outcome for all writing and that’s the upbeat, everyone turns out fine in the end outcome. I resist those knowing so many who end up internalizing their grief because they are unable to smile in the face of loss, pain, suffering.

  7. I totally agree with you Aundria. I find it difficult, and unsatisfying too, to swallow all these happy endings and tidy resolutions in personal essays and memoirs. Most of life isn’t like that. Either we find we’re still battling to overcome, survive, accept, or understand what on earth happened and why it happened to us.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  8. I write simply to get away from harsh reality and be in a place of my dream, although that may not be obvious to anyone who may read my writing. When I write about the birds singing near flowers and frolicking in rivers, I wish to be one of them, live in the present, without worrying about tomorrow. They don’t worry about the future, do they? But we, the humans, the smartest creature have brains, which can retain a lot of unpleasant thoughts and can ruin a serene moment.

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