Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why do you write?

Some people write to vent frustrations. Some people write to create a world they can use to escape reality. Some people write simply because they can - they know they're talented and are focused on getting published. Some people write because they have to. The characters don't let them sleep at night unless they are released from their prison inside the writer's brain.

So, why do you write?

Why do I write?

I've been an amateur writer my entire life, thus the title of Casually Writing (plus the silly reference to my name was too easy to pass up). When I was a pre-teen, it was poetry. My pre-teen brain dramatized every crush and every mistake I made. I wrote woe-is-me poetry to express in words on paper what I couldn't express verbally. I wrote a few short stories as a teenager and outlined some novel ideas but never saw them to completion. Ideas rattled around in my brain, but there was always something more pressing going on in my teenage life.

Why do I write now, as an adult? I write now because an idea takes hold of me and doesn't let go. It might not be a great idea, or a publish-worthy idea, but it's an idea that develops into plot and characters and twists and turns. When I have an idea, I think about it in the shower, in my car, when I listen to music, when I'm trying to sleep at night. I write because the blank page has a special allure. I write because I'm a closet control freak, and the world I create follows my rules.

I'm still at the point in my writing (and I may always be at this point) when I write to satisfy my urge to write without writing for an audience or a particular market. For me, the satisfaction of completion is my success. My only goal is to read my story in its entirety and feel that I did it justice.

So, I still ask - why do you write?


  1. I've written for different reasons. I write because it calms me and focuses me. I write because I love to read and think that any way to get more books into the world is a positive thing. I write to become a better teacher of writing. I write because I love the mystique of writing. Most recently, I write because the characters in my head just won't shut up. I'm thinking of killing one of them off if they don't behave.

  2. I wish I could answer that question. Basically I write to drown out the voices in my head.