On another blog (http://writertowriters.com/sometimes-wonder-write/) the blogger asked the question “Why Do I Write?” I’m guessing all writers ask themselves that question at one point or another, and the answers likely are as varied as snowflakes. It depends on what we want to accomplish with our writing, our circumstances in life and many other things personal to each writer.
The blogger, Walt Page Walt Page, included this among his reasons, and these certainly are part of why I write also:
“Writing makes me happy, makes me feel alive, keeps me young and keeps my mind active. I write because I am a writer.
Who I am, why I write and how I write will never depend on the judgments or approvals of others. I am, and always will be, a work in progress. I write for myself and not what I think people want to read.”
For much of my life, I’ve written fan fiction, in one world or another. It began on paper (before computers), and was shared with friends in letters, or just for my own amusement. Though I enjoy writing, I’ve never felt a burning desire to be officially published, with all that goes with that. But I do enjoy sharing my stories with an appreciative audience, and the Internet has connected me to a much broader audience than I’ve ever known.
I’ve also discovered that I do well in writing Instruction Manuals. This came into play at work when, unable to find an adequate manual setting down how to do things, I wrote them for myself. Others noticed, asked to look at them and then wanted a copy of their own. So I shared those.
Through the years, the vagaries and events of life have sometimes pulled me in other directions, and during those times I wrote very little. It was while considering my job one day, and realizing that it held no mental challenge for me, that I noticed how far I had backslid. Whereas before I could think of several possible words to describe a single thing, my mind was slowly becoming boring, single-word mush. I’ve had an extensive vocabulary most of my life – I did not like it wasting away through lack of use. So, I began writing again partly for the mental stimulation.
There are many reasons why I write, and sometimes they vary at different times in my life.
- To get instructions down in an easy to follow format for my personal use.
- To have stories that I want to read, when nothing I see “out there” appeals to me.
- And I like to play with words, create characters and situations, and breathe life into them.
- Even though I write for me, I enjoy sharing with any who are interested. But, if no one else is interested, I would still write for me, as I always have.
I’ve never been much of a journal writer, mainly I suppose because it mostly is a detailing of what has happened. Though it can be introspective, and I occasionally do that, it does not greatly interest me. I want something more creative. I want to discover the story. I want to find out what happens next, because unlike some writers, I don’t always know that going in. If I do know what the end will be, then I want to see how I get there. And I want to get there in a creative way, not merely copy the tropes and plot lines that everyone uses. A romance? Okay. We all know the basic idea – boy and girl meet and eventually fall in love. They may encounter difficulty in getting there. But why tell that story if I can’t bring something new to it? I don’t want to rehash what everyone else has done – I want to find something new. Some details may be similar or even the same, but there needs to be something unexpected or even I won’t want to read it.
What about you? Why do you feel compelled to write?