I once read a great book about writing in which the author challenged all writers to regularly ask themselves why they write. Not the surface, “I write ‘cause I like it” kind of question, but the deep soul searching kind that requires the author to explore all of the reasons for it.
I did the exercise and really became clear on my personal reasons for writing. But, as life would have it, time went on and I didn't continue the exercise.
I published some books, felt the joy of connecting with readers and the sting of many many MANY rejections. And still, I didn't remember to ask myself the question again.
And time marched on, I considered quitting, I wrote more stories, and on and on.
Finally, a few years since that original exercise, I stumbled across the same book. And remembered that I needed to ask myself the question...again.
So, here are my responses to "Why do I write?":
- I am an adventurer at heart. Born with an insatiable curiosity, writing is an amazing way to explore all aspects of humanity, including the darker sides. It enables me to explore things that are scary and terrifying. And it enables me to connect with humanity on a deeper level.
- I write to share the common human experience with others. I am enriched by my readers and hope that I, in turn, offer something enriching to them.
- I write because I feel like I still have something worth saying. I am certain that the day I no longer feel that way will be the day I stop.
- I write for the experience of it. To me, writing is an experience that transcends the mere act of putting words on paper and creating a story from thought. The collective words themselves, both fiction or nonfiction, take on a life of their own, becoming the vehicle for teaching, growth, transcendence, and escape – both for me as the author and, with luck, to those who read the books.
- I write because I can...no I must.