Lately I’ve been thinking about why people write. What are people’s reasons for putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys), and are those reasons “legitimate”? Is there such a thing as a bad reason to write? Do you have to have a reason at all?
Eric is the one who got me thinking about all this, when he tweeted and then blogged about being (what I termed) a “word-doctor”:
I see myself staunching wounds. All the pages of all my books going into a great hole in people and slowing the loss of blood.
I, on the other hand, probably provide the laughing gas:
My writing… is more like the anesthesia. It takes you to your happy place, lol.
Erin is the teacher:
Good writing has the ability to make us feel things we may not otherwise be in a position to feel, and because of that we are fuller, richer human beings.
It has the power to convey profound truths without us having to experience them for ourselves.
To heal, to entertain, to educate… Just a few reasons from a few writers. Hardly a complete list. And if I had to guess, I’d say it’s likely that we’re all motivated by a combination of these reasons, even if one is chief in our minds at a certain time.
For example, if I had to boil it down right now, I would say that I write because I think and feel deeply when I look at this world, and I want to share those thoughts and feelings in an eloquent and meaningful way. A way that might make other people think and feel deeply too.
That’s true whether I’m writing a literary short story about dead deer, a web series about 3 twenty-something girls, or a novel about teenagers with superpowers. (Believe it or not, hahaha.)
What are the reasons that you write? What do you hope to accomplish, if anything? Do you write for yourself, for the whole world, for your cat?
Do you think why we write even matters?