Why Do You Write?

You, personally.  Yeah, you.  Stop looking around, pal. You.

Is it because you have a story to tell?  Are you the dippy kid who is always staring at the stars?  Are you angry at the world and this is your manifesto?  Did something so amazing happen and you have to share it with the world?  Are you too shy to speak so you write instead?

Were you born to it? Is it a calling? Did Aunt Dorthee tell you that you have a talent?

Writing is hard, you know. People will disrespect you. They won’t take your work seriously. They’ll think less of you if you aren’t published in under two weeks.  Their eyes will glaze over when you try to explain how “the process” works.

But you know that, don’t you.  And you’re still writing.  That is fantastic.  I’d like to know why.

28 Comments on “Why Do You Write?”

  1. I write because the story is in me, the characters more real than some people I meet, and because I care about my characters deeply. My morning starts early, sun just up, laptop clamoring. If I don’t write, the day seems unfinished. Sometimes I’m happy with what I write.

  2. Pingback: Why do you write? « The darker side of the fire.

  3. [url=http://shadowflame1974.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/why-do-you-write/] These are the reasons [/url]

  4. Gonna make this stuff up anyhow (yeah, I’m the daydreamer kid)– so I might as well do something useful with it.

    But what about you?

  5. My singing voice makes children cry, and “they” won’t let me play with the sharp knives in the kitchen anymore (IHoP will pay for their lack of faith…oh yes…).

  6. I write because if I don’t, the stories and words that live in the back of my head start scratching to come out, and they have sharp nails.

    Seriously though, I write because I can’t *not* write. It’s a part of who I am. I think that’s the best explanation I can give.

  7. “Because I have to” is the short answer. As far as my book is concerned, I am convinced I was born to write it ~ fate has so heavily played a role that I couldn’t ignore it.

  8. I write because I am deeply and irrevocably conflicted, and feel as though I need to share this with the world in my fiction. Also, my sadistic tendencies are gratified by the misery through which I put my characters, and my masochistic tendencies are gratified by, y’know, things like challenging Mercedes to writing duels. Basically I’m a big ball of weird, wrapped in a sliver-thin shell of normal.

    Plus, I’ll never be as good at anything as I am at writing. This is both saddening and exhilarating.

    Hey, you DID ask….

  9. great question Mercedes!

    To be honest, I’ve heard a lot of people say they right because they have to. And while the character’s in my head are telling me that’s probably the best answer. I’m going to say that the reason I write is because I want to.

    I went twenty eight years searching this sad world for a place in my life, during that time I got an education, got married and had a family of my own. Was I unhappy with my life? Not really. But then I woke up with characters in my head, and everything clicked into place. I’d found my calling and it filled a piece of my life I hadn’t realized was unfulfilled.

    I always think, I could go back and not write again, my life wouldn’t be that bad. I don’t HAVE to do it.

    I write because I want to. 😀

  10. Is there a point in my answering this for you, Mercedes? I think you’ve already come to the conclusion on why I write. 😉 But I’ll share anyway.

    I write for the beauty of it. It’s because I can find no other way to represent what I see, feel and observe that I turn to writing and to music. Through words and music… I’ve been seeking answers. Not answers in the metaphysical sense, but emotional answers, responses to my own. And I seek them across the genre’s and styles and approaches.

    I write because I’m obsessed with beauty in all its forms. It’s also why I do anything, honestly. I’d make an amazing book character. :p

    P.S. – I’ve begun to work seriously on a writing project. Something a bit ambitious (as always).

  11. Actually, “angry kid manifesto” pretty much sums it up.

    I think it probably says a lot more that I can never finish a story than the fact that they’re angry kid stories. I feel like it’s my way of telling the world “stop telling me it’s all in my head, I really AM screwed up and need help!” but then just give up halfway through because, if nobody reads it, I’m still at step one. And I just don’t let people read my stuff.

  12. God, I love this question! 😉
    Because I can…
    Because I cannot not write, because it’s too much fun to just give up, because I desperately wish to be understood, because life, this world we live in makes absolutely no sense yet I seek order and the only way to achieve that is by telling stories…

  13. I write because I can’t imagine living without doing so. I have written since I was old enough to figure out how to put a sentence together and tell stories. My first ‘books’ were stories I wrote out and glued magazine pictures in for illustrations.

    Writing to me is like air, food, and water; simply necessary to survive as a being. Doesn’t mean I’m always very good or that anyone else will ever care to read it, but it’s necessary for me.

  14. I write because if I didn’t I’d go crazy. 😉 I write because when I was a little girl I would scribble stories and tie ribbon in the notebook holes to bind them. Never been more proud of myself as I was after finishing those “books”. 😉 It’s always been a love of mine.

  15. I write because it’s a kind of catharsis, I suppose. And it’s one of the few things in life I feel I’m genuinely good at, and enjoy doing and learning about.

    I wouldn’t say I’m born into the craft of writing, but given that I’m a daydreamer, writing seemed like a natural fit in getting those stories floating in my head out into the open.

  16. Awesome comments, everybody. I read what you have said and I can feel your hunger. I write for the same reasons: I have to write in order to live. I ache if I’m not writing. It puts my thoughts in order. It’s the only way that I truly feel myself.

  17. I’m a few days late, but thought I’d jump in anyways.

    I write in general because my notebook is my best friend. Ever since I was young, my journal was the only “person” I could truly tell everything and anything to. Writing lets me pour my heart out and release all the crazy emotions that build up inside me.

    I write novels because I have no real life of my own and through my characters I get to experience the things I’ve never been able to do or have been too scared to do.

    I continue to write because I don’t think I’m bad at it. Not good necessarily, but not bad.

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