“Why do you write?” always ranks high on the questions most asked from writers. I just realized I’ve never been personally asked that. Not that I can remember in any case. I may have answered some forum post or another, but no one has ever come up to me and asked me why I write.
I wrote and read a lot as a kid and my parents supported that, never once questioning these hobbies. It simply was what I did. At school I loved writing stories and my teachers encouraged it. My friends have generally been writers or at least readers, so they never thought it odd when I typed away. No one I’ve met has considered writing useless or dull, or at least no one has said that to my face.
Then again, I’ve never stated that I want to be a writer when I grow up. I have other interests that can make a better career (more stable at least) so I’m fine following that path while writing on the side. Maybe that’s why no one has questioned it. It seems that the most popular arguments people have against writing are “Can you even make money?” and “It’s a nice hobby but a career…?” My livelihood doesn’t depend on my writing so maybe people don’t see it as a thing to comment on.
Now that I’ve published a book, my relatives and friends occasionally ask how are the sales. Even when it’s not much, they’re proud. Some joke that when I make millions, they can stop working too. I’m pretty sure that if I could make a living by writing, they would just be happy for me.
But the core question remains: why do I write?
I write simply because I love it. I love creating stories and characters, and imagining new worlds or situations.
But here’s the thing. I can put down the pen for a long time without feeling awful or somehow incomplete. I have a passion for writing and I bring it with me every time I put words on the paper, but I can also take breaks. I’ve read more than enough quotes stating that unless you absolute have to write to stop yourself from bursting, you’re not cut out to be a writer. I believe I am though.
My breaks from writing have come from continued blocks, life stress and just having too much to do. I have never been tired of writing and wanted to stop because of it. I always find myself back with a pen or a keyboard, ready to get storytelling again.
I wouldn’t be as happy as I am if I didn’t write. Even if no one reads my work, I find happiness in just pouring my ideas on paper. I want to explore a feeling. Even if I only write a paragraph in a month. Writing feels so natural to me.
Besides, as much as I like words, I can be a terrible speaker. I forget what I’m supposed to say, I create random words that mean nothing to everyone else but me, and I mix up words like no other. Writing gives me a chance to arrange my thoughts in a more understandable way. My boyfriend wonders how I can speak such random, weird things when I can write so smoothly. But it’s not the same, right? Right…?
Sharing my work with others is fun and scary, and it’s a thrill I’ve recently learned to enjoy. I’m a writer and I want to write stories – and my stories want to be read. Hopefully those who read them want me to write more. I’ll keep going in any case but of course it warms my heart to know if someone liked my work.
So tell me. Why do you write?