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King Wenclas
12-09-2011, 10:31 PM
1.) Identity. To be somebody. A "writer." A badge. A certificate of existence. Now: what to write?

2.) Hobby. Using time. Filling up space in one's life. Doing something. Macrame.

3.) Money. Write a best-seller and retire from life.

4.) Therapy. Personal dilemmas laid out on a page. Journals for an unseen shrink.

5.) Message. An announcement. Having something to say and compelled to say it. A discovery.

6.) Change. Writing to change society, or the culture, or the neighborhood. Or the world.

7.) Immortality. Creating the masterpiece that will live forever, honored by all subsequent generations. A place in future history.

8.) God. To understand or commune with the universe.

Obviously, there's overlap. Many individuals write for more than one reason.

What's your reason?

www.blitzreview.blogspot.com (http://www.blitzreview.blogspot.com)
Books needed!

Quickbread
12-09-2011, 10:34 PM
You forgot masochism and insanity. :)

MamaStrong
12-09-2011, 10:34 PM
#1, #4 and #6...and can't lie...number #3 wouldn't hurt my feelings either.

Alpha Echo
12-09-2011, 10:41 PM
out of those, #4. But honestly? Just because I've always felt a strong compulsion to put pen to paper. A need. I don't care if I make money (though it's a bonus). I do want people to read my books b/c I love hearing someone say, "I couldn't put it down!" That I make someone that excited to turn the page is incredible!

But even if no one read my writing, even if it was just for me...I've been keeping a journal of some sort since I knew how to write my name. Because I need to write. That's it.

RemusShepherd
12-09-2011, 10:45 PM
1.) Identity. To be somebody. A "writer." A badge. A certificate of existence. Now: what to write?

2.) Hobby. Using time. Filling up space in one's life. Doing something. Macrame.

3.) Money. Write a best-seller and retire from life.

4.) Therapy. Personal dilemmas laid out on a page. Journals for an unseen shrink.

5.) Message. An announcement. Having something to say and compelled to say it. A discovery.

6.) Change. Writing to change society, or the culture, or the neighborhood. Or the world.

7.) Immortality. Creating the masterpiece that will live forever, honored by all subsequent generations. A place in future history.

8.) God. To understand or commune with the universe.

Obviously, there's overlap. Many individuals write for more than one reason.

What's your reason?

I've said this before, and I'll only say it again because it isn't on the list above: I write because the voices in my head won't let me stop.

That's a great list of some sane reasons to write. You might want to start a list of the insane ones. :)

The Lonely One
12-09-2011, 10:52 PM
Probably all of them for me, if we're being honest here.

Though the "why do you write" question always seems ultimately unanswerable to me.

cameron_chapman
12-09-2011, 10:52 PM
1.) Identity. To be somebody. A "writer." A badge. A certificate of existence. Now: what to write?

2.) Hobby. Using time. Filling up space in one's life. Doing something. Macrame.

3.) Money. Write a best-seller and retire from life.

4.) Therapy. Personal dilemmas laid out on a page. Journals for an unseen shrink.

5.) Message. An announcement. Having something to say and compelled to say it. A discovery.

6.) Change. Writing to change society, or the culture, or the neighborhood. Or the world.

7.) Immortality. Creating the masterpiece that will live forever, honored by all subsequent generations. A place in future history.

8.) God. To understand or commune with the universe.

Obviously, there's overlap. Many individuals write for more than one reason.

What's your reason?

www.blitzreview.blogspot.com (http://www.blitzreview.blogspot.com)
Books needed!

All of the above at one time or another...and possibly also because it's the only thing I'm really good at.

Diana_Rajchel
12-09-2011, 10:58 PM
I've said this before, and I'll only say it again because it isn't on the list above: I write because the voices in my head won't let me stop.

That's pretty much why I do it, too. It's because I have tried - TRIED- to do other things with my life. Every time I think I'm out, writing pulls me back in!

leahzero
12-09-2011, 11:16 PM
None of those.

Most of those reasons are highly unrealistic. Money, fame, recognition, immortality? You have a better shot at that stuff by getting a reality TV show.

I write because I can't not write. It's how I'm wired. How I understand and interact with the universe. I'd love to be rich famous immortal etc., but I'd write even if no one else read a word I wrote. It's in the blood.

The Lonely One
12-09-2011, 11:18 PM
I write because I can't not write.

That's a pretty good way of putting it.

KTC
12-09-2011, 11:38 PM
I am all but #7. Buddy, I already own immortality. I just use different atoms from one moment to the next. #7 I have wrapped up. The other points...they're why I write.

Filigree
12-09-2011, 11:42 PM
I second Leahzero's reason. Writing, like art, is a non-negotiable activity for me. I have to do it.

As for the OP's reasons, I had to laugh. 'Identity' is one of the dumbest reasons to commit this kind of masochism. If you don't know your identity before you sit down to write, writing won't give you much more of one. 'Fame' is double-edged, and 'Money' is nearly a non-issue for most of us. 'Therapy', 'Change', and 'Message' are nice internal goals, but you'd better be amazing before you inflict them on the world. 'Immortality' and a communion with the universe are not guaranteed outcomes, just messages we put in bottles.

Probably the purest reason listed is 'Hobby' -- playing with an enjoyable activity to see where it leads. And lest someone snarks about hobbies, may I remind them how only higher-functioning animals indulge in play? It's very good for the brain.

Sidney Bristol
12-09-2011, 11:51 PM
Hmm. I guess #2 and #3, but neither feel "right" for my reasons.

I want to. I need a creative outlet. I enjoy it.

virtue_summer
12-09-2011, 11:52 PM
Most of those reasons at different times. I'm not sure if there's one up there which would cover "Because I want to entertain others" and yet that's another one for me. I want to write stories that people really enjoy. I don't just mean send a message or try to change them as people, but make them smile, laugh, cry, scream, hide under their beds (Hey, I write horror). The best moments of my life associated with writing? When I shared a poem in the fifth grade that made everybody in the auditorium laugh, when the girls in my class in high school were begging me to finish the rest of a novel I was writing so they could read it, when my cousin stumbled upon a story I was working on and kept asking me where the rest was, every time I hear someone say they like something I've written. I know there's this idea that as writers we're not supposed to care so much what other people think, that we're supposed to be writing for ourselves, and I've done that too, but the feeling I get when I know I wrote something other people enjoyed? That's the best. I wish I did it more often.

Kitty27
12-09-2011, 11:58 PM
I just plain love to create stories and write. It's fun,wonderful,and just a PARTY!

Also,I am quite cray-cray and the voices demand to be let out. I firmly believe that the vast majority of writers are cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

ucf612
12-10-2011, 12:08 AM
For me at this point in time it is a hobby. A creative outlet and something to do for just me. As a stay at home mom it is nice to have something that is just mine, something I can really think about and research, something I can connect to other people through. Now if i were to make money of it down the road then I wouldn't be too upset about that. :)

LStein
12-10-2011, 12:18 AM
God, all of these, honestly. But you forgot #9: Compulsion.

Filigree
12-10-2011, 12:21 AM
Yep, plain ol' Obsessive-Compulsive Mania. 'What if?' is dangerously close to 'What does *this* button do?'

Shadow_Ferret
12-10-2011, 12:24 AM
When I first started as a teen-ager, then yes, 1, 3, and 7. But in 40 years, none of hat has come to me. I've accepted that none of that will ever happen, and yet I continue to write. So now it is #9, compulsion.

LindaJeanne
12-10-2011, 12:35 AM
Yep, plain ol' Obsessive-Compulsive Mania. 'What if?' is dangerously close to 'What does *this* button do?'
Ha! So true.

Primary reason: the voices in my head insist on being heard :).

Of the eight listed, #8 is probably the closest: fiction as a means of making sense of the world on a level that non-fiction is unable to accomplish.

jjdebenedictis
12-10-2011, 12:43 AM
I'm trying to figure out where "narcissism" fits in.

Caveat: I don't think I write out of narcissism, personally.

However, online, I have occasionally tripped across people who apparently are dissatisfied with the level of adoration they inspire, and so they are writing a novel to facilitate the world's adulation of them.

I think that would be covered by a mash-up of #1, #6 and #7.

Susan Littlefield
12-10-2011, 01:06 AM
I write for none of the reasons above, but simply because I love to write. Whatever comes after that is icing on the cake.

Alitriona
12-10-2011, 01:15 AM
None of the above, although I wouldn't refuse a big cheque. I write because the voices tell me to.

Margarita Skies
12-10-2011, 01:17 AM
You forgot one. My personal reason.


Characters come to my mind, fictional people, and they won't stop nagging at me until I tell their stories on the freaking word processor.


Oh, and I do it for my entertainment. I can't write for any of those other reasons unless I get a literary degree.

willietheshakes
12-10-2011, 01:18 AM
"To woo women."

Dead Poet's Society for the win.

CaroGirl
12-10-2011, 01:25 AM
Hm. I guess I'd go with 1, 2, 3, 7. Let me check my old blog post to see what I said there...

Ah, I said I write because I love to write. So, there's that.

Mr. Anonymous
12-10-2011, 01:25 AM
Out of the options, I'd say

1.) Identity. To be somebody. A "writer." A badge. A certificate of existence. Now: what to write?

and

8.) God. To understand or commune with the universe.

however,to me 8 is less about communing or understanding the universe so much as it's about approaching truth/something ineffable, even though we may not really understand it.

mccardey
12-10-2011, 01:26 AM
Fun. Did we say fun? 'S why I do it.

What I write tends to reflect The List, though it changes from project to project.

(Also, the list doesn't contain my other major reason - Avoidance.

But it's a good list...)

:Sun:

Mr Flibble
12-10-2011, 01:31 AM
Fun. Did we say fun? 'S why I do it.



YUp

I write because I like a challenge, and writing is a challenge. Also, I seem to be passably good at it, and these damn people won't shut up.

I write because I have to, or go mad.

I don;t write for any of teh reasons on your list. As far as I know anyway.

KyraDune
12-10-2011, 02:01 AM
Sure, I'd like a boatload of money and I wouldn't mind writing something people will still be reading a hundred years from now, but that's not why I write. I write because I have to. The voices in my head get really loud otherwise.

bearilou
12-10-2011, 02:05 AM
I want to. I need a creative outlet. I enjoy it.

*nodnodnod* yep


I just plain love to create stories and write. It's fun,wonderful,and just a PARTY!

yep!


I write for none of the reasons above, but simply because I love to write. Whatever comes after that is icing on the cake.

yep!


Fun. Did we say fun? 'S why I do it.

yep!


(Also, the list doesn't contain my other major reason - Avoidance.

definitely yep!

Brukaviador
12-10-2011, 02:51 AM
Fun. Did we say fun? 'S why I do it.


Fun is my primary reason. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in a particular scene I'm writing that hours can go by without me really noticing.

Though if I had to pick from the list, it'd be a really scaled down version of number seven. I don't expect I'll produce anything that will last throughout the ages, but if I can entertain a few thousand people for a while, I'm happy with that.

aadams73
12-10-2011, 04:05 AM
I just like telling stories.

Paul
12-10-2011, 04:20 AM
All of the above at one time or another...and possibly also because it's the only thing I'm really good at.

yup


That's pretty much why I do it, too. It's because I have tried - TRIED- to do other things with my life. Every time I think I'm out, writing pulls me back in!

yup, this especially


"To woo women."

Dead Poet's Society for the win.

been there, quoted that. you lose. ;)


Fun is my primary reason. .

the above plus the God thing. (em, well to be God, more than the commune thingy)

Nualláin
12-10-2011, 04:35 AM
I always liked E.M. Forster's response to the question: "I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect."

Plain, simple, humble statement. And the rare moments when someone I esteem very highly expresses approval of something I wrote... Those really are some of my primary motivators to keep at it.

Al Stevens
12-10-2011, 04:39 AM
I like to type, and I like to drink alone.

Kindness
12-10-2011, 05:41 AM
1, 2, 3, 5 and 7, if wanting someone to feel what you feel (that is, all of the emotions you're capable of evoking) fits into 5. I don't really have any other kind of "message" to impart ;)

Bubastes
12-10-2011, 05:45 AM
I just like telling stories.

Yup, that's why I write too. And because I can ask my characters all sorts of rude questions I can't ask real-life people. I'm incurably nosy.

thothguard51
12-10-2011, 05:57 AM
I write, therefore, I yam...

EclipsesMuse
12-10-2011, 05:19 PM
Not a bad list and there are some I wouldn't mind, but they aren't the reasons I write.
I write because have stories in my head that need to get out. I love losing myself in the world I have created. And I write because sometimes that world gets lonely and I want to share it with others.

seun
12-10-2011, 05:42 PM
I just like telling stories.

I was going to say this but Alex beat me to it.

I don't overthink this sort of stuff. I like to write, I like stories and I don't appear to be too bad at it.

Anything else runs the risk of me sitting here, stroking my beard and being all authoresque about it. Which is a great way of not writing a word.

Filigree
12-10-2011, 07:54 PM
Well said.

ohthatmomagain
12-10-2011, 08:01 PM
Why do I write? I write my blogs to *hopefully* help people. I write fiction as an easy way to escape life for a few hours. I have 3 small kids so 'getting away' isn't possible... nor would I want to. But having a story going gives me freedom to get way (if only in my head) and focus on things not in my every day homelife.

Hope I don't sound all creepy now ;)

reiver33
12-10-2011, 08:43 PM
#2, with shades of #4

Rhoda Nightingale
12-10-2011, 10:22 PM
Another one for The Voices. I write so the plot bunnies don't eat my brain while I sleep. Because they have been known to do that. Seriously, some nights I cannot sleep until I get some scene or other out of my head and into a notebook or word processor.

Given the choices you've offered though, I have thought more about #5 lately. Getting a particular "message" across isn't my motivation for writing. Because I'm a panster, not a plotter, I will sometimes get about halfway through a given project before a "message" announces itself, and I'll see what the story is actually saying. Then, during the editing process, I will go back and make sure said message is consistent or at least jives with my characters and the surrouding situation--and I want to say something positive at the end of the day, especially since I write a lot of YA.

However, that happens after the fact. It's something I think is worthwhile, to send some positive energy into the world, in the shape of an entertaining story. But it's not the "Why."

Jamesaritchie
12-10-2011, 11:05 PM
1.)
3.) Money. Write a best-seller and retire from life.

www.blitzreview.blogspot.com (http://www.blitzreview.blogspot.com)
Books needed!

Retire from life? Who came up with that? Money lets you participate in life, rather than being a nine to five wage slave who doesn't have time for life.

Anyway, I write for money, and always have, but it's a dangerous road, and I think far too many try writing because it looks like an easier way out of being a wage slave than getting an expensive college degree, or starting a real business, etc.

The word processor is right there, and it worked for Rowling, King, and others, didn't it? Except that Rowling, King, and most of those others had a college education before they struck it rich as writers.

rugcat
12-10-2011, 11:46 PM
I always liked E.M. Forster's response to the question: "I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect."I'd never seen that, but I agree wholeheartedly.

seun
12-11-2011, 01:17 AM
The word processor is right there, and it worked for Rowling, King, and others, didn't it? Except that Rowling, King, and most of those others had a college education before they struck it rich as writers.

No, King and Rowling are natural (and talented) story tellers. A college education has got nothing to do with it.

scarletpeaches
12-11-2011, 01:27 AM
...I think far too many try writing because it looks like an easier way out of being a wage slave than getting an expensive college degree, or starting a real business, etc.It is.

blacbird
12-11-2011, 01:44 AM
I've said this before, and I'll only say it again because it isn't on the list above: I write because the voices in my head won't let me stop.


This. There's no choice there for "Can't not". A more pertinent set of answers might be posted for the question: Why do people try to get their writing published?

caw

blacbird
12-11-2011, 01:47 AM
Except that Rowling, King, and most of those others had a college education before they struck it rich as writers.

What others?

caw

Filigree
12-11-2011, 04:30 AM
Money would be a wonderful side-benefit.

cryaegm
12-11-2011, 05:23 AM
I write because I have never ending stories in my head. It's kind of like drawing to me. Any other reason, like money, is just a bonus to me.

ETA:
Sure, I'd like a boatload of money and I wouldn't mind writing something people will still be reading a hundred years from now, but that's not why I write. I write because I have to. The voices in my head get really loud otherwise. Pretty much this.

c2ckim
12-11-2011, 06:32 AM
I write because I have never ending stories in my head. This is why I write. I love it when a story gets going and I can't stop until its done. Its almost like breathing for some people. :)

Becky Black
12-11-2011, 12:02 PM
Probably the nearest for me is #5, if "having something to say" can include having stories to tell. Obviously the stories will reflect what I think and believe, even unconsciously.

I was actually thinking about this the other day, why write, or more specifically why share the stories with other people? And I realised it was because I want other people to meet the characters in my head, too.

gothicangel
12-11-2011, 01:54 PM
Why do I write? Probably because I can't find the kind of books I want to read [that weren't written in the 1930's-70's.]

I love the high of writing, after slogging through, then you get to that part that has the adrenaline going.

I'm not the kind of 'clock-in-clock-out' person. I wonder how people do that.

twm
12-11-2011, 08:10 PM
For me, it's just part of who I am. It's something I do because it's all I want to do. It's my hobby. Maybe someday it will be my career as well.