Monday, February 1, 2010

Why Do We Write?

I believe every writer in the world has their own answer to this question. There are no wrong answers, but there are politically incorrect ones.

You not supposed to answer: I'm in it for the money.

Nor are you supposed to admit: I'm in it for the fame.

Face it, some people are. I wish them the best of luck.

Why do I write?

I write because I've discovered I can. I like I'm not confined to an office; although I must admit the companionship would be nice from time to time.

I write because I've always had an active (some might say over-active) imagination. Coming up with plots or characters has never been a problem for me. I don't have a problem meeting deadlines. (no deadline, however, leads to plentiful procrastination problems)

Do I think I'm the best writer in the world? No.

But I like spinning my tales and trying to make them the best I can. I like creating characters who are real. They're funny, sometimes misguided, but always (I hope) very human.

I'm not trying to change the world; I'm not that kind of writer. I want my stories to entertain. To shock? Perhaps. Maybe even elicit the odd snicker. But ultimately, I'd like my readers to close my books with a satisfied sigh.

However, a little bit of fame and fortune wouldn't break my heart.

I'm just saying.

Why do you write?


  1. Elspeth, I think we may have bee separated at birth. The reasons you outlined are why I write, too. And to get rich, of course.

  2. Writing is my only means of understanding the world. Plus it's the ONE thing I'm good at. S'it. :)

  3. Alan; Well, duh! Nothing wrong with a little cash, no sirree. And excellent, because I've always wanted a brother.

    M.J.; I understand. Thanks for the follow!

  4. I write because I enjoy it. And I'd love one day to see my work in print.

  5. I started writing to help me figure out what I was feeling and make sense of my life. Now I write to do that as well as help others thru my writing, if I can. Once I switch to fiction, I hope it's just fun!

  6. Like so many others, I write because I must. A good friend once said that writing is not merely something we do, it is a part of our very being. We ARE writers, we don't DO writing. Sort of an intangible concept, but I know what he meant.

    On another note, if you have time, stop by my blog today. There is something there for you.

  7. Carolyn; Good for you for writing that down!

    Karen; Memoirs serve a very different purpose than fiction. I think you'll enjoy the switch.

    Maryann; These type of statements make me a little nervous. I like writing, but I could live on without it. Thanks in advance for whatever is waiting for me!

  8. Why yes, Elspeth, I DO know you. We share that overactive imagination. And I make my own deadlines if I don't have one because otherwise nothing would get done. Nothing. Ever. And I want my stories to entertain, too.

  9. I write because I must. I don't know what I really think about things unless I write about them. Also, as a mad crazed reader - well why wouldn't I want to please people in the way I've been pleased. Also, all those people stored up in me who want their point of view expressed!

  10. Carol; I need your trick of meeting self-imposed deadlines. I'll pay you in cookies.

    Jan; I'm another mad, crazed reader.

  11. I write because I like making up my own little worlds and getting lost in them. Fortunately, fame or money is not my first priority - though I wouldn't turn either down!

  12. I have so many answers to your question, but one of them is because it just feels so authentically me to do so.

    And really, I don't know how or why the taboo of writing to make money got started. What's wrong w/ writing for the money? I've heard my students tell me they want to become engineers or financial planners for the money. Of course, no matter what career you choose, do it for the personal joy and satisfaction. But heck, making money from writing really should be encouraged more.

    Sorry, was that me ranting?
    ((crawls away bashfully))

  13. I think it's because writing is the only thing I can do well. :) Really, I'm hopeless with any other pursuits.

    And I LOVE it!


  14. I used to think I knew why I wanted to be a writer, but now that I'm published, I'm thinking I should have chosen therapy instead. :)

  15. Jane; I think non-writers will never understand the joy of getting lost in our own imaginations.

    Elisa; I completely agree. It seems to be the accepted norm that one can not be creative and like to earn money at the same time.

    Elizabeth; I'm exactly the same!

    Patricia; Chosen therapy as a profession, or as a patient? Either could work. ; )

  16. It's fun. I need more room in my head & getting the stories down on paper help me make some room :)

  17. Jemi; LOL!!! That's one of the best reasons I've ever heard.

  18. I write because it's just darn fun. I wrote HATSHEPSUT because I absolutely had to get her story out of my head- it was getting crowded in there!

  19. Elisa I'm with you. I write because I love it BUT it doesn't mean I need to starve. I will not write for free. I will consider a market before I set off on an 80,000 word novel. I want to make a living as a writer.

  20. Love this post Elspeth!

    I ultimately write because I enjoy it. I like being in my imagination and being able to create. Am I good at it? Hmmm...I'm not sure yet. I hope so. Can I support myself doing it? Umm...not yet but it would be a huge dream to be able to do so. I'm with you on the fame and fortune...not WHY I do it but it would be a very nice bonus.

  21. I started writing at age seven. I can't stop. To be absolutely honest there are times when I wish it wasn't so important to me. But it is, so I write.


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