Why Write Anyways?

If you want to be a writer, you probably enjoy writing. It may be the question, “Do I want to / can I do this for a living?” that’s getting to you.

There are a whole lot of us on this forum who write for a living, and in many different ways. Some of us fit the traditional idea of a writer who writes books, articles and short stories for a living. Some of us are journalists. Some of us are scriptwriters or songwriters. Many of us are in jobs that require us to write (and write quite a lot), but outside the more creative paradigms. There are so many ways you can use a talent for writing - just don’t limit yourself!

Why do I write? Because I love telling a good story. Because sometimes, a writer’s work can fulfill a purpose in the society at large, even if it’s just to entertain one other person, to spread knowledge, or to advocate for justice.

Regina Brett, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, told the writers gathered at the Western Reserve Writer’s Conference here in northeastern Ohio a while back a story about a woman who wrote letters of encouragement to people who’d been admitted to the local hospital. She, too, was a writer, Brett said. Her message: Write because you love to. Write because you need to. Write “outside the box.” Write, even if you suspect you’ll never be published. Just keep writing!

Why write?

Quick answer:

I’ve got all these stories and characters bouncing around inside my head like a pachinko machine on auto-pilot, distracting me from the other things I also need to attend – and some of the characters have the rather inconsiderate habit of waking me up from a sound sleep, demanding that I get back to writing, now,…

… this is the only way I can appease the critters.

But then, why not write?

From the Letters of Emily Dickinson:

I found a bird, this morning, down - down - on a little bush at the foot of the garden, and wherefore sing, I said, since nobody hears?

One sob in the throat, one flutter of my bosom - “My business is to sing” - and away she rose!

To Mr. and Mrs. Holland, 1862


Here’s one reason I was writing this weekend:


Snow in the country is a magical thing.
You wake to silence. The snow has put a hush on the world, absorbing sounds. The light is different as the snow reflects whatever light is available be it pudding grey or clear blue.
You see before you a field of untrodden virgin snow and you know it has to be you that adventures across the land.

Snow in London is pathetic as a quarter of an inch stops the city. It turns to dirty slush within hours and is regarded as an enemy of the people bringing proof of nature back to the city dweller.


…nice :slight_smile: …no, beautiful! :smiley:

Ah, yes. And this snow was amazing! We haven’t seen anything like it in Northeastern Ohio since the famed blizzards of the late 1970s, though for our friends in upstate New York, it’s a bit more routine. But this snow broke apart in large blocks, which inspired one’s inner child to think about building snow forts and igloos in the back yard. And when the snow’s this heavy and wet, it takes on a bluish cast! It was so very quiet, and so very quickly and quietly smoothed over all evidence that man had passed by, filling in tracks and driveways with soft, rounded white. Snow this deep imposes peace; hustle and bustle are impossible in a blizzard. It was absolutely beautiful, too. Snow reveals the landscape in unexpected ways. Later, when the snow stops, neighbors become more neighborly, helping dig each other out, and teenagers and pre-teenagers become simultaneously neighborly and entrepreneurial as they trek down the street, offering to shovel snow in exchange for a few bucks.

But don’t mistake me. Driving in this stuff redefines “adventure,” and on a trip north on Interstate 77 between Akron and Cleveland on Sunday, we counted nearly a dozen cars that had been abandoned to the snowdrifts in the exact spot where they had slid, skidded or spun off the highway.

Yet, it does inspire us to creativity, n’est ce pas?

Inspire us to creativity?


Sequestered (snowquestered?) in aforementioned Upstate New York, it inspires me to the fireside, the Jameson, and a Tom Waits CD.

As M le D might say:

Chacon à son goût



When I was 6 or 8 years old, everybody wanted to become a policeman or to go into space. Me, I wanted to become a writer. And basically, that’s why I started to write, but that’s not the reason why I still write. So why do I still write? I enjoy every kind of storytelling: novels, films, video games (with a good story)… Writing stories is the only thing I can do on my own.

I don’t have any child yet. And I keep picturing myself in a bedroom with my child (children) telling incredible stories that I invent as I speak.

[size=85]It is getting really weird to see all these French sentences everywhere on this forum (I’m French!)… :smiley:
Please continue, I really enjoy it (and don’t be afraid to do some mistakes. I don’t mind, and I do some in English). Qu’en pensez-vous ?[/size]

When it snows here (the aforementioned Upstate) I see it as an opportunity to pratice my driving options. We have 30deg left yaw, 30deg right yaw, horizontal loops and forward spirals. for those who are not familiar with these modes of driving I offer the following: left and right slides or fish tails, donuts and 360s in the line of travel.

God gave us rear wheel drive for a reason and I fully intend to use it!!!

I went from home through the finger lakes, down to PA and back during Saturdays storms (the “big one”). The conditions were amazing on several levels. The family slept most of the trip (lazy bums) and ask to only be awaken when a particualrly “slidy” bit of road was coming.

If you have to live in hell you might as well enjoy it.

It`s better than mine!! :laughing: :laughing:

To enjoy doing it while creating something. Not only that you are “occupied” in some way, you evolve, you learn how to deal with words better, how to express things that way that people can really feel it.
And when your work is done, when you are really finished with a book, you have some actual product of your work, thus you enjoyed creating and improved your skill of creating while having a actual reason and aim to do it.

Now that sounds like some smartass wrote it. Especially “thus”.

after much thought and self reflection I have come to realize that I don’t write. I spew.

Thus has gravitas.


Postbellum et cum Jack Daniels

Lobbing rocks from behind a berm. So you can tell people off and they can’t punch your lights out. (As for bad reviews, the thing is to stomp around the house squealing like a stuck pig.)

In short: truculent cowardice.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, from a very early age I’ve been writing stories, creating worlds, and generally filling up notebooks full of half-baked ideas, characters, and settings… my preference, as I’ve grown, is to write screenplays (I’d really like to be a staff writer on some cool American TV show), but there’s always that perennially incomplete novel kicking around (and now, thanks to Scrivener, it’s alive once more).

I don’t write to get famous, to get rich, or to get recognition (though all three would be nice) - I write because it’s in my blood, it’s not something I particularly have control over. I write, therefore I am.

That’d make for a cool bumper sticker:


Conversely and perhaps even more apt:



I have a T-shirt that says, “Will write for food.” 8)

How about a T Shirt with


Then have a very tiny Scooby Doo…