Sunday, June 27, 2021

Why do you write?


The longer I consider the question, the more it begins to resemble a dance. We circle each other; writers both accomplished and aspiring ask for that “one piece of advice” that they believe will do… something for them, and I keep finding I can’t answer that question without asking my own questions, first.

• Why do you write?

• What do you hope to achieve by writing?

• What do you want to have accomplished by the time your career is over?

• Do you want to write, to be a writer, or to have written? 

I have more questions for you, but these will do for a start. Before I can give you meaningful help and directions, I need to know where you want to go. 

And if you don’t know where you intend to go as a writer, this is as good a time as any to start thinking about it.

Over to you,



Pete Wood said...

I write, because I enjoy the process. Also, unlike my real life, I have some measure of control. I can make sure my characters have happy endings even if in the real world, we sometimes have to deal with what fate has dealt us.

Mark Keigley said...

I write because I think. I think about where the world is right now and how human beings relate to one another. I believe I can do better, as a human being, by thinking about what I need to do better, while at the same time, encouraging others in their own life journies to journey to a higher ground; whatever that might be for them. In writing, I sometimes find myself challenging others in my 'what if?' scenarios, to think of the future and what we can all do to make it a brighter one than a lot of the bleak ones we seem to be headed toward. A big part of my stories are about engaging with and interacting with one another. About finding common casue to reject the bad and enhance the good. I believe our futures will only get better when we work toward making better futures, and not passively accept that whatever happens to us, was fated to be. That we can, in fact, control our own destinies to some extent, and hopefully, help others to have some measure of control over others. Sometimes, this even means, that while we can't avoid some fates, we can avoid how we feel and think about them, and keep some soverignity in our lives. But, heh, what do I know?

Jason D. Wittman said...

I write because the ideas pop into my head, and they'll stay there bouncing around until I get them down on paper. It's like an exorcism.

For instance, a couple years ago I saw The Turning, a movie based on Henry James's famous ghost story The Turn of the Screw. It was...bad. The ending made no flipping sense (the reviews I've seen agree with me on this). And for a long time after seeing it, it stuck in my head how bad this movie was, and it churned and it gestated...and then I remembered a book I'd read called Florence & Giles by John Harding, specifically a blurb on the cover which read, "Imagine The Turn of the Screw reworked by Edgar Allan Poe." (For the record, I disagree with this blurb. It's a very good book, clearly inspired by The Turn of the Screw, but I saw no aspect of Poe.) And right there a story idea popped into my head in which elements of Poe stories are grafted onto the basic plot of The Turn of the Screw. It's about a young governess hired to watch over two young children, but instead of Miles and Flora, they're named Roderick and Madeline, and they live at the Usher estate. They're sheltering there to stay clear of the Red Death which is currently ravaging the countryside...

And this story was a gusher for me. Normally, I produce three handwritten pages a night; this one was five or six pages. I've yet to sell it, but I think it's one of my better stories

Roxana Arama said...

When I made the decision to become a writer, it felt so right. I solved the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question of old. Case closed. But publishing? I thought hard about that over the years, and I have two reasons why I’d like to publish my writing, not just write it. First is that the writers I admire have all been published in order for me to read them, and I’d like to be able to produce work of that quality one day. Second, I want to leave a good example for my children: a life where the work I do every day is meaningful to others, not just me, and might even make a difference in my community.

Arisia said...

Because it's fun and I can choose to do it. I don't have to do it to stay alive or earn money. And now I have to stop commenting (writing) in order to work on my laundry, which I pretty much have to do.