Why Do You Keep Writing?

It’s late at night and I can barely keep my eyes open. I sit at the keyboard pondering what the next paragraph holds, trying to figure out where a comma should go, and realized I used “the” about a billion times.

Sound familiar? It should if you are a part time writer.

A writer might admit that the craft can be a bit tedious. If they are really honest they would say that it is war. Writing requires the author to be attentive to every single word that is placed on the page. It can be hard to keep your concentration as there are only a few opportunities in a day when you can momentarily swing your attention to your work.

Someone might ask you why you would even write at all? That someone might be you. And, after all, they might have a point. It’s not a viable source of income. Of course there are the Rowlings, Tolkiens, and Grishams’ who’ve make millions. But, there aren’t that many authors that can support themselves solely through writing. Just have a gander around your local bookstore to see the tens of thousands of books. Most of those authors are still working their day jobs.

Why then? If there is little or no money in it, why even write at all?

For some it might be the fact that to write, and to write well it requires honesty. Therefore it is a place to be yourself. For others the allure of a big contract is there, and let’s be truthful that is in the back of all of our minds. The reason I write is because through a collection of experiences I began to understand there was a story for me to tell and I liked it and wanted to write it. For me its that simple. It is true that writers are supposed to write for their audiences but its equally true that they write for themselves (with the audience at the forefront of their mind of course!).

So, readers, why do you put words on the page?

11 thoughts on “Why Do You Keep Writing?

  1. It’s weird how many posts I read about writers’ experiences and they all sound like mine. I just published a post sharing the things you discussed about above about why, why why … I named it “My 5 fears (and me ripping myself to shreds)”. lol

    1. Novel girl,
      I bet if you put a lot of writers in the same room, they would all share similar experiences. I read a quote by Somerset Maugham about the writing life that I take refuge in. “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

  2. Bob, thanks for posting. I missed reading your thoughts yesterday.

    I write because stories have a power over me. Whether they are the stories that I come up with for my books, or the stories that I read in others, or even the stories that are told in movie form, there is something about a good story that helps me feel more human. When I can share that feeling with others, it builds me up. Writing for me is both selfish (in how much I get out of the process) and selfless (because it takes so much out of me).

  3. Yes I know sir. I missed posting them! Kids didn’t sleep that night, so, naturally, neither did I. My thoughts weren’t exactly coherent, so I thought it would be best to wait a day to put them down.

    Wonderful thoughts on stories! Thank you for sharing them my friend!

  4. Pingback: The Writing Life: You Never Know What You Might Have « Part Time Novel

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