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Why Do You Write?

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DavidMcMurdo

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It's a seemingly simple question, but one I find difficult to answer myself. I think we can safely rule out fame and fortune as a motive in the vast majority of cases. In my own case, I've got several other projects that bring me instant feedback, gratification, and for much less work. Yet I always write. I think it's quite simply my favourite way of expressing myself creatively. It allows a freedom that no other craft does, especially since I write within the genre of fantasy.
There was a time when I thought it was just a matter of ego. As they say, "everyone wants to be a writer, no-one wants to write", and I'm sure ego plays a part for everyone (after all, we all work on the assumption that people will care about what we create). But writing is something I find I really can't "escape". I used to go and get lost in other projects, but my characters and plots would always be there in my mind nagging at me until I finally said "damn, I've got to write these things".

The above sounds like I'm an unwilling writer, but that's not true. I do enjoy the process when it's going well, and I've yet to find a feeling to match that of sitting back and looking at a finished work. You know, in many ways I don't really care who likes my stories (although obviously I hope people do like them), I just enjoy the fact that I'm gradually building up a series of works. Something I can look back on and say, "yeah, I worked bloody hard, I got my ideas down on paper, and they're there now. I made them". I think that's my reason: the satisfaction of having achieved something that has such personal importance to me.

What about you?
 

Fallen

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It's got it all: addiction, depression, anxiety, stress, sex, tension, agression, more sex, conflict, resolution, even more sex, meeting people, deleting people... Christ, you need a good drink afterwards just to come down. Who wouldn't write?
 

M R Mortimer

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toldyouso said it.

I didn't write for around fifteen years. In a disastrous event I lost 50 books - a number were full draft manuscripts some were sample chapters and copius notes, some were entries in planning books - years of creativity. Lost. In an instant. SO many were largely complete drafts.

I stopped writing. I maintained sanity, turning to other outlets - music, game design etc. But something was missing. For all those years. When I was fortunate enough to have the first manuscript returned to me, I recognised a sign from the universe, and I have not stopped writing since. And now, I am myself once again. Complete and whole.

This is why I write.
 

crunchyblanket

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Because I like it.

But if you want something more insightful, try this: I've suffered from a chronic illness since I was 19, and mental health issues for a while before that. So when my world gets a little too dark and depressing, there's always the freedom to escape somewhere else for a while. And, you know, inflict pain on fictional characters for a change ;)
 
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Safely rule out fame and fortune? Why?

Those are the only reasons I'm in this game.
 

Natalie23

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Because i do ... because if i dont whats to be left to say i tried. I pondered this once a while ago and i concluded this; Writing is a love, some of the greatest pieces harbour the hearts of their creators. If i remember this i'll always write well.

What inspires me is this little well known gem:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eterinity in a hour.

It says everything.

Nat
 
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DavidMcMurdo

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Safely rule out fame and fortune? Why?

Those are the only reasons I'm in this game.

I've only been on this forum for a few days, but somehow I knew that if anyone was going to respond and take issue with this, it would be you :p

I just meant that generally when people think of ways to achieve fame and fortune, slogging over writing for years and years usually isn't top of the list. It's also very hard to achieve as an author.
 

Natalie23

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Can i jump on this fame and fortune wagon because i seriously need a direction!
 

richcapo

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Because I love to do it, want to make a living doing it, and want to prove to my children that dreams do come true.

_Richard
 

Brutal Mustang

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Safely rule out fame and fortune? Why?

Those are the only reasons I'm in this game.

Hah. Ditto. No, really. The prospect of fame and fortune is what keeps me writing at five in the morning, when I feel like I'm going to barf up my coffee.
 

shaldna

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I write to get girls.























um, no. um.

Money. Fame. Fortune. And hookers.
 

Layla Nahar

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I write because I'm hoping it will free me from my dependence on being an employee. I hate hate hate hate hate hate having to do a job to make ends meet. "Job" should be the 4-letter word, not 'work'. I'm ok with work, really, just - did I mention I hate having to do a job?

Oh - If you want to tell me 'If it's money you want, there are better ways of making it than writing' make sure you tell me at least one of those ways and how much I can make from it. It would need to be legal.
 

DavidMcMurdo

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I write because I'm hoping it will free me from my dependence on being an employee. I hate hate hate hate hate hate having to do a job to make ends meet. "Job" should be the 4-letter word, not 'work'. I'm ok with work, really, just - did I mention I hate having to do a job?

Oh - If you want to tell me 'If it's money you want, there are better ways of making it than writing' make sure you tell me at least one of those ways and how much I can make from it. It would need to be legal.

I count just your average job as one of the easier ways of making money. I find my office job infinitely more easy and less stressful than writing, and I'm guaranteed a good pay day at the end of each month. But I don't have your animosity towards having a job to make ends meet, so different perspectives.
 

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Because I have always done it, ever since I was young. Though only recently realised that I might be good enough with practise to actually get published. Also, in my entire career (as a scientist, a teacher and even the various crappy jobs I did at university) writing has been the one skill that I possess which has been universal to all of them. I know that while my MPhil results were hardly world shatteringly relevent to the modern world due to being largely negative (and yes, I know, you morally have to publish the negatives as much as the positives to keep the process honest but negative results rarely seem to get you kudos) I am confident that said results were well written and presented.

As for fame, money and women... frankly, I got all of them anyway simply because of my staggeringly handsome good looks and modest ego. Well, not the fame or money but I did get the most beautiful woman in the world to be my wife and that has to be an achievement and all done without writing :)
 

KellyAssauer

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I write in hopes of earning enough to purchase my own little country where I’ll create a new matriarchal society where men become second class citizens.

They will have to stay at home and clean and cook and deal with generations of unequal oppression along with the social media pressures of body image concerns. They’ll have to invent diets, make-up, and routines to make themselves attractive. Where it’s the baby girl that’s so badly wanted in the family unit and the unwanted boys disappear into seedy streets, brothels, strip joints, and sex slavery where they become only objects, viewed as nothing less than a momentary stress reduction tool. They’ll have to live out their lives to the unwritten manifest of a multitude of performance anxieties, fearing the day when they are no longer viable and replaced by a younger model...

Oh yes.
That's why I write.
 

Silent Rob

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That's pretty much why I write too.
 

Orianna2000

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I write because I enjoy it. Because it's like sculpting and painting and giving birth all rolled into one. Because I can give voice to all the stories and characters in my head. Because I'm good at it, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment that little else does. Because even when my physical disabilities prevent me from doing anything else, I can still sit at the laptop and write. Because it's in my soul and I have to write or else die.
 
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