Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Write?


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?":
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I write because I can...no I must.
So, those are my answers. Now it's your turn - both writers and non-writers. Why do you do what you do? You answers may surprise you.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent post! There are many reasons to write. For me? Hmmm. I love the magic of words - I love meeting the new characters - learning and telling their stories. One of the joys in my life is disappearing into a great book. I hope to provide that for others one day. :)

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  2. Wow! Great post. Hmm...I'm a nurse. I do it b/c it felt right. I wanted to go into medicine. I wanted to help people. Being a doctor just didn't seem to be my calling. Nursing is bio/psycho/social, being a doctor is not. I wanted to connect with my patients, their families, and others. I wanted to give people a well rounded view of their medical treatment. I think nurses do this, although now a days I think they are overworked and can't do it to the extent that they are taught to. I want to share what I've learned with others, which is why I went on to get my degree in Nursing Eduction. I haven't had a chance to use this degree yet, unfortunately (kids and such have been my main priority for a few years). But I expect to be able to to this in the future. The nice thing about nursing is there are so many facets of the profession. I can go in so many different directions and do so many different things. I think this is why I do what I do. At the end of the day, I know I have made a difference in people's lives, however small it may have been. And that is an accomplishment in my mind.

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Thanks for your input!