Chapter 34 – Why Write?

“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.

WaitingToWrite_by_Angle_Garrett
Picture By Angle Garrett

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…?

Anyway.

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?

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7 thoughts on “Chapter 34 – Why Write?

  1. I love this question but there is no way to answer it fully. Nothing can sum it up adequately. I love it, I would be crazy without it (or crazier), I learn through it, it makes me happy.

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    • It’s definitely a hard question and often there a several reasons which can vary depending on the situation. Fortunately the “why” doesn’t usually matter in the end, just that we write is enough.

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  2. Hi again,
    Was wondering if I could include these lines in a book I’m working on called Fall in Love with Writing:
    “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…?”
    It combines the words over over 150 bloggers as they share their love of writing and aims to inspire people to write. Your name, age and country will be included unless you want to be anonymous. All good if you’re not interested. Just thought I’d check. Thanks heaps, JD.

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    • Yes, you’re welcome to include them! All that info is scattered around here somewhere but to save you the trouble it’s: Niina from Finland, age 22. Good luck with the book, I’d be happy to hear about its progress 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing. I’ve heard it said too that if you don’t have the compulsion to write you can’t be a write but I don’t believe that at all. Haruki Murakami, whose books I love, very consciously forces himself to write for several hours a day and doesn’t refer to that do or die compulsion others do.

    I’m also completely with you on the inability to express my words well verbally. I think I write clearly enough but I stutter and stammer away in the flesh and come across so incoherently at times! There is definitely a difference between mastering words on the page and those that come out of your mouth.

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    • That forcing part does sound familiar. But I have to say I’m not always good at that either. I can push myself to write but after a certain point it just becomes so unbearable I’ll rather try again later than fill a certain amount of hours just for the sake of hours.

      Always great to know I’m not the only, err, verbally challenged writer. Speaking is just too fast sometimes. I’m one of those people who comes up with a perfect line to say about five minutes after the conversation has moved on. So I’m definitely glad I still have my stories to use that line for.

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