Why do we write?

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

As a writer, I have asked myself this question many times. Late at night when I can’t think of a single word to put down on paper and my frustration is boiling up inside of me until I feel like I just want to say “screw it” and give up, the question occurs to me. Why am I even doing this? Do people really give a crap what I have to say?

For some, the reason may be to gain fortune and fame. It is quite a shallow and unrealistic reason to put in hours and hours of work for something that may never get past the pages your blog free reads or self publishing site. There are literally THOUSANDS of out of work writers right now and the number is growing every day. Those are some pretty steep odds.

For others, it may be a need to have your voice heard. Maybe you don’t agree with the way your government is running things and you have this need to tell them, and anyone who will listen, what a crappy job they are doing and how you think your way would be much better for everyone involved. This is a more noble reason than to just get fortune and fame out of it but, for me, there is something a bit deeper.

It’s therapeutic. I don’t have the money for a therapist (though many in my life would argue that I most definitely need one) but if I didn’t get the things in my head out then they would eat me alive from within. I have problems just like everyone else. In my opinion, creative types are more prone to depression resulting from those problems. Broken relationships, lack of money for the most basic needs, crazy family members: these are all problems that each and every one of us deal with, whether all or just one or two. These compounded with stress from an overbearing boss, deadlines, and the occasional rabid fan (I am still waiting on that one) can drive a person crazy. So we write. We get all of those problems out there and on the table so that we can sort through and avoid or conquer them.

The most common is escape, I feel. In the world that we create on paper, the things that are happening are completely within our own control. We can have our characters make love, win the lottery, kill each other, or whatever we decide to do. We can live vicariously through those characters. We can, essentially, play God.

I would love to hear why you guys write. Whether you are  a published writer, an up and coming wordsmith, or just an everyday diary/journal entrant. Why do you do it? What keeps you going when you just want to say “FUCK IT!”?

  1. mike gibson says:

    I think I write for all these reasons you mentioned here, what it comes down to is expressing yourself as perfectly, as truly as possible. I think this is why we exist. I say “fuck it” all the time, but I always return to the writing eventually. I HAVE to.

  2. I agree totally. If I didn’t write, I would probably be locked away somewhere, Our own personal thoughts are the only place we really CAN express ourselves without judgement or fear. Although, sometimes I DO scare myself. =)

    We can always pick and choose what we want people to read later. That is the great thing about editing.

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