Why Do We Write?

Why do we write? Respect, income, and the desire for perpetuity come to mind. One of the most prevalent answers is likely: because we must. We are writers. It’s more than what we do. It’s who we are. But there are reasons within the reasons, and these can be as individual as each of us.

Me? I want to be heard. I come from a family where “just don’t say anything” would be stitched in a sampler hanging above the hearth, if anyone knew how to stitch and were willing to adopt Yankee ways of decorating, which is never going to happen.

I write to have a clear record of what’s what, with none of the messiness. Tint it, smash it, turn it inside out—it doesn’t matter. Say it the way you want. Story is how we know ourselves, how we reconcile with the past, stand in the moment, and usher in the future. What matters is that order seems to prevail.

So, why do you write?

Answer this and your writing life becomes a lot easier. Needs defined, your target square in your cross hairs, the bones of your writing life are in place. After that, it’s just a matter of giving flesh to the form.

Comments welcome and edited to include first names only, and website, if provided; never your email. Photo credit: dancers by James William Dawson

This entry was published on August 12, 2011 at 2:18 am. It’s filed under How To, Mechanics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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