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HeronW
01-08-2008, 02:15 PM
Simple question? Why do I write?

I was brought up by family who read to me, took me to the library, and who encouraged me to read to them. An eclectic selection: Mom likes biographies, Dad went for mysteries and westerns, my brother does scifi, my sister introduced me to Tolkien and Greco-Roman mythology. I have no one to blame for my love of horror so that's a fluke.

When the book ended, I wanted more.

In grade school (long ago okay?), my forays into incorporating my vocabulary lists into stories of zombies and werewolves got good grades--and sidelong looks from the teachers. I don't think I was allowed to read those to the class...ah well.

I detested the 'What I did last summer' essays, why didn't the teacher ever ask for 'What I wish I did last summer' instead?

I guess I wrote because I wanted that control over what happened, whether to me or to someone else. I wanted something greater, something finer, something different.

Why do you write?

Mandy-Jane
01-08-2008, 03:27 PM
I started writing because creative writing was my best subject in school. Bad at maths, bad at science, bad at sports, etc...... But I always got good marks for my writing. Now that I'm older there are other things I'm probably better at. But I like writing....sometimes. The main reason I do it now is because I think that's the only way I'll get better at it. And that's what I want.

maestrowork
01-08-2008, 03:39 PM
I'm self-absorbed and self-centered. Writing is a perfect outlet for that.

Mr Flibble
01-08-2008, 03:46 PM
Otherwise all the characters in my head would gang up on me and send me mad.

BlueLucario
01-08-2008, 04:19 PM
Why write? Because first of all, it's fun despite all the difficulties of it.

cletus
01-08-2008, 04:29 PM
No reason. I just like doing things like that.

swvaughn
01-08-2008, 04:47 PM
You know what? I have no idea why I write.

I'm just posting in this thread to thank you for posing the question. Now I'm going to think about it.

Nakhlasmoke
01-08-2008, 04:57 PM
I write because I want to find out how the stories end.

There are all these people in my head, and I want to see their stories unfold.

Shadow_Ferret
01-08-2008, 04:59 PM
Because I like fooling myself into thinking one day I might actually sell something.

Gooch
01-08-2008, 05:11 PM
I started writing mainly because I wanted to tell my own stories. After watching so many movies and reading so many books over the years, I finally decided 'you know, I got some stories too!'

juneafternoon
01-08-2008, 05:25 PM
To me, this question is the same as, "Why are you blonde?" I was born this way. I learned how to write my first words when I was two and ever since I can remember, I've been attracted to words, writing and reading. It's just the way I was wired ;)

jenngreenleaf
01-08-2008, 05:32 PM
Because I have to . . . just as I have to blink, breath, eat, and everything else necessary to live.

Bubastes
01-08-2008, 06:01 PM
Because it's fun. That's the main reason.

Also, I'm nosy about other people's lives. The fact that those other people are imaginary doesn't stop me from being nosy. It keeps me from being a busybody in real life. ;)

seun
01-08-2008, 07:05 PM
Because I'm a baldy with a small beard. What else am I supposed to do?

DeleyanLee
01-08-2008, 07:22 PM
I don't really think about why I write because it doesn't matter to me. I write and I'm happy about that, so no reason to think about it.

Now, how to I improve my skills? How do I find good stories? What makes a good me-story? What do I want to do with all this writing stuff? Those are questions I spend a lot more time considering, honestly.

Shadow_Ferret
01-08-2008, 07:35 PM
Because I have to . . . just as I have to blink, breath, eat, and everything else necessary to live.
I knew someone would say this, and I don't want to pick on jenn, so I won't say what I'd say if say scarlet said something like this. :D

sunna
01-08-2008, 07:35 PM
When I was younger I wrote because I had to: it was how I understood the world around me, and made (belated) sense of things that happened and my responses to them.

Now that I'm older - well, that hasn't changed, actually, except I also do it with the aim of getting published and maybe making a little money from my obsession. But primarily it's just because writing makes me happier and more settled in myself than almost anything else.

juneafternoon
01-08-2008, 07:44 PM
Let's just say that having this many people talking inside your head could be interpreted as either being a writer or suffering from schizophrenia. I prefer the former.

WriterInChains
01-08-2008, 08:03 PM
It's just what I do. I've always had stories running in my head, characters who won't stop talking to me, so I mayaswell write down what they say. It's a lot more fun than anything else I've ever done (except music, but you need more equipment than paper & a pen for that).

juneafternoon -- I'm right there with ya! :Hug2:

juneafternoon
01-08-2008, 08:15 PM
It's just what I do. I've always had stories running in my head, characters who won't stop talking to me, so I mayaswell write down what they say. It's a lot more fun than anything else I've ever done (except music, but you need more equipment than paper & a pen for that).

juneafternoon -- I'm right there with ya! :Hug2:
:) What instrument(s) do you play?

willietheshakes
01-08-2008, 08:28 PM
For the chicks...

jenngreenleaf
01-08-2008, 09:00 PM
I knew someone would say this, and I don't want to pick on jenn, so I won't say what I'd say if say scarlet said something like this. :D
Oh, crap - I'm a cliche. DELETING ... moving on .... ugh.

aka eraser
01-08-2008, 09:05 PM
Because it's the only thing I do well that occasionally results in a cheque.

Oh.

And the ego thing. Most of us are deluded confident enough to believe that our thoughts are not only worth sharing - they're worth paying for!

Moon Daughter
01-08-2008, 10:05 PM
...because I'm a masochist.

geardrops
01-08-2008, 10:27 PM
Cheaper than drugs and slightly more respectable.

Bubastes
01-08-2008, 10:30 PM
...because I'm a masochist.

That's what my day job is for.

Kalthandrix
01-08-2008, 10:37 PM
Because I have always read someone else stories and wondered if the stories I had to tell would be a good.

Also, and this is not a second reason, just another that is just as driving as the first, I have always wanted to 'give back' what other people works have given to me. Worlds, people, cultures, mystery, heroes and villians; all of these things I have found in the books I have read has had an effect upon who I am and I would like the chance to influence or inspire later generations.

Storm Dream
01-08-2008, 11:27 PM
Because George Lucas wasn't making more SW movies at the time.

No, I'm serious: My first written piece of work shared with my classmates was in third grade, and involved my classmates getting sucked into the SW world. It was sooooo bad. Yet for some reason I remain proud of it.

Also, I was bad at math. I'm not sure if that had a ton to do with it at that time, but it did later.

Writer2011
01-08-2008, 11:55 PM
I've been writing since I was 12 years old. And I guess the reason why I write is to put my self in situations I'd like to be in. For instance, meeting a pretty girl and falling in love with her.

Or writing a horror story where I have the final say.

For instance, so many horror stories end with certain characters being killed off. I wouldn't kill of any..I'd have them fight whatever it was.

So the short answer would have to be because I like changing things. Plus I'm able to escape to a different world.

Does that make sense?

Gray Rose
01-09-2008, 12:25 AM
My husband made me. I was reading a fantasy novel and bitching about the author getting it all wrong. Dear husband dared me to write a better story. He's tearing his hair out now, but it's too late :D

Nyna
01-09-2008, 12:32 AM
In a probably futile attempt to leave some sort of mark on the world. Also, because it's fun.

Stormhawk
01-09-2008, 12:33 AM
Because I can't not.

Tiger
01-09-2008, 12:35 AM
I'm self-absorbed and self-centered. Writing is a perfect outlet for that.

...That would be an inlet, dear. :D

Dragonfly45
01-09-2008, 12:37 AM
Let's just say that having this many people talking inside your head could be interpreted as either being a writer or suffering from schizophrenia. I prefer the former.

LOL--I second this answer!

Tiger
01-09-2008, 12:40 AM
Why do anything? People do what they need to do, or what they want to do.

In my case, writing has always played a large role in what I've done professionally--and has been a main feature of most of my other relationships as well.

I enjoy writing because it focuses my skills and creative inclinations.

chartreuse
01-09-2008, 12:44 AM
I want love
I want drugs
I want sex and affection

I want everyone in the room
to look in my direction.

Okay, not really. But sort of.

And anyway, I can't seem to NOT write.

scarletpeaches
01-09-2008, 12:46 AM
I write because...

I can't think of anything else I'm good at. (Well, I can, but getting paid for doing it would put me in Cornton Vale...:e2brows:)

It gives me the chance to right past wrongs - as long as my methods serve the story, of course!

I can play God.

I'm a control freak. I have complete control over what I write. Sometimes, though, I have to surrender part of that control to make the story 'fit' better. I can't always make characters do things they wouldn't do; that is, I'd rather have a good story than one where the population of such acts out of character just to stroke my ego or give me 100% control over their lives. I hope that makes sense.

I write because I want to entertain.

I want people to like something I've created, and by extension, like me.

scarletpeaches
01-09-2008, 12:47 AM
Plus, I've heard being a writer gets you some action.

Thrillride
01-09-2008, 01:20 AM
Cheaper than drugs and slightly more respectable.

Oh, I don't know about that.

Have you actually told someone out loud that you are a writer (or better yet - you're writing a novel)? Didja see the look? Didja?
Well, if you had said, "Hey guys, I'm doing drugs", you wouldn't have seen a smirk. AND they wouldn't have moved on to a different topic.

Just sayin'.

geardrops
01-09-2008, 01:25 AM
Oh, I don't know about that.

Have you actually told someone out loud that you are a writer (or better yet - you're writing a novel)? Didja see the look? Didja?
Well, if you had said, "Hey guys, I'm doing drugs", you wouldn't have seen a smirk. AND they wouldn't have moved on to a different topic.

Just sayin'.

Well at least you won't go to jail for writing.

... wait. Damnit. Nevermind. That one's also not true.

Guess I'll just go with "cheaper than drugs."

Thrillride
01-09-2008, 01:26 AM
Well at least you won't go to jail for writing.

... wait. Damnit. Nevermind. That one's also not true.

Guess I'll just go with "cheaper than drugs."

See? Now that's a solid answer.:D


~Thrill

scarletpeaches
01-09-2008, 01:27 AM
Pfft. I could get a ten-spot of hash for less than the cost of a moleskine.

Thrillride
01-09-2008, 01:30 AM
Pfft. I could get a ten-spot of hash for less than the cost of a moleskine.

Ummm. So...PM me, kay?


~Thrill

(Dammit - I can't find a little devil happy face around here...)

WriterInChains
01-09-2008, 09:44 AM
:) What instrument(s) do you play?

Sorry to [further] derail, but -- I can play violin, sing, & put a mandolin out of tune halfway decently. :)

Welcome to AW! :)

DaddyCat
01-09-2008, 12:38 PM
I write because there are things that need to be written, and I can write them as well as anyone and better than most.

That, and all the good tech jobs are going to India.

eek_a_snake
01-09-2008, 01:16 PM
That, and all the good tech jobs are going to India.

I second that, DaddyCat.

Fox The Cave
01-09-2008, 08:47 PM
To entertain people.

Moon Daughter
01-09-2008, 09:44 PM
That's what my day job is for.

Ohhhhhh, so that's what they call it!

hermit authoress
01-11-2008, 08:22 AM
I write (fiction) because it's the only place I am truly free. I have always been a rule-follower, listening to my conscience, and weighing consequences at every turn. While writing, I am who I want to be at that moment, honesty and rules be damned.

swvaughn
01-11-2008, 07:22 PM
So I've been thinking about your question, and I thought so much that I ended up writing an entire article just to answer it.

Please forgive my long-winded reply...

Why do I write? At first glance, it seems like the sort of question every writer should be able to answer as naturally as breathing. However, when I signed in to add my fifty cents to this thread (adjusted for inflation, of course), I realized something that both fascinated and frightened me.

The only answer I could come up with was: I don’t know.

Now, as writing goes, I’m not doing too bad. I’ve long gotten over the Golden Word Syndrome nearly every writer experiences at the beginning – the point where one believes every word one writes is Brilliant, and every editor and agent who sends a form rejection is Stupid and does not See the Vision. Since then, I’ve written eight novels that I’m not completely disgusted with.

One of them is published under a pen name with a small but reputable e-publisher. One is under consideration with a great small press. And one landed me an agent. An excellent agent with my dream agency. I’ve just finished revisions for that one, and it should be going on submission to big NYC editors soon. So, I really can’t complain.

But this unanswered question plagues me. Why write? Some of the answers other writers gave here are perfectly acceptable reasons. To be heard. To silence the voices in my head. Because, like Ray Bradbury, I can’t not write. And of course, to make money – every writer’s pipe dream that comes true only for some.

Some of these reasons are part of my personal reasons, but none are quite “it”. If I were to be perfectly honest, I started writing because I thought it would be easy. I thought: I’ll write a romance novel. There’s zillions of ‘em out there, a huge market, I might not be famous but I’ll get paid. It didn’t take long to discover how wrong I was, or to discover that romance was not only hard to write, but also not the genre for me.

I could have just given up then and become a decently paid administrative assistant, using my newly acquired associates degree in Office Technology with accompanying high GPA and performance. But I decided, then, to write a thriller—which turned into a series, which turned into the most grueling ordeal I have ever undergone in my life. Years of rejection after rejection after rejection. Harsh criticism from “peers”. Scams—I fell for too many, some of them nightmarish in their propensity to crush my hopes. Night after night with little sleep, day after day with no breaks—working full time, writing full time, and being a full-time wife and mother is two full-times too many.

But I kept at it. Every day I wondered why I was torturing myself like this. Every setback had me casting jealous eyes at normal people with nine-to-fives who didn’t struggle to pay the bills and had the mystical ability to kick back and relax on the weekends. I went through periods of feverishly scouring want ads, looking for something, anything that wasn’t what I was doing—which was wasting my life making things up instead of living in the real world. I screamed “I quit!” to myself and the world a thousand times, only to find myself back at the computer the next day, pounding away.

I never did tell myself why I kept going. I just did.

Fast-forward several years, with four books in my series and one standalone that I didn’t entirely detest completed (surprisingly, a romance). I sent out the standalone to publishers without much hope—by then, every spark of wishful thinking had been beaten from me with stacks of rejections and empty promises. My writing output had been reduced to endless tinkering with my existing books and futile attempts to advance the fifth in the series. And one publisher said yes.

It was a small publisher, and a small victory. But it was enough to prime my rusted pumps yet again. I worked feverishly on something that was a complete departure from what I’d been doing: an urban fantasy, though I didn’t know that was its genre at the time. I wrote two-thirds of the novel, decided that it wasn’t destined to work the way it was, and scrapped everything I’d written. Using the core concepts of the world, I created a new MC and a new story. It seemed to work better, because I finished the manuscript in less than a month, during a particularly grueling stretch of winter made worse by the fact that our furnace is dead and we can’t afford to fix it.

With this manuscript, I was picked up by a wonderful top-tier agent, with an agency I have admired (nay, lusted after) for many years.

And now, here I am—a writer, and there is no going back. It’s what I do, an integral part of who I am. Why do I write? I still don’t know. My reasons are not tangible. I can’t compartmentalize them and list them in a way the world would understand. Writing refuses definition. There are no lines, no rules, no constrictions other than what is inside yourself, and what you’re willing to release to the world. To write is to become a student of life—and there is so much I want to learn. That is the closest I can come to why I write.