Why do Writers Write?

Understanding your purpose as a writer is one of the most important offensive strategies you can take on your journey. Why do writers write? The reasons abound, and if you want to be productive and joyful as you write, then you should figure out your reason.

First, it’s important to understand why story ideas are so powerful, why they make writers write. It’s because they are magical. Ideas soar through the universe constantly, and when a writer is open and willing, they will know an idea when it smacks them upside the head. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes. Such violence might make you wonder why the heck writers write, might even scare you away. Rest assured, when an idea strikes, writers feel charged, electrified. Sizzling with anticipation.

The idea acts like a seed, a breath, full of potential growth. An onion-skin of creativity. Only with nurturing can that seed bloom.

Why do writers write, especially when writing is so difficult? Read this post by Kate Johnston |Author & Story Coach to learn the reasons you write to help you be productive and joyful on your writing journey.

Why writers write reason #1

Because we must turn that idea into story; we must nurture that seed.

There is a fragility at this juncture, too, and while we may be bursting at the seams with writing energy, we can also feel the shaky precipice beneath our toes.

There aren’t many of us who go back and sow the seed again. Quite a large percentage give up.

-The work is too difficult.

-We can’t take criticism.

-We have no self-discipline.

-We don’t know how to become better.

-We’re tired, maybe even bored with the story, and we just want to dig it out of our lives.

-We let well-meaning friends read it too soon, or we query too soon.

-Our determination crumbles, our passion dwindles, our dream fades.

Why writers write reason #2

Despite these various shadows of failure, why writers write is because they were prepared for the setbacks and disappointments.

Writing again is usually the next response. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen for the most motivated, the ones whose calling it is to be a writer. We square our shoulders, grudgingly pick up our tools, and return to our struggling creations.

We prune the growth, dig up the root ball and transplant it. Hopefully this time, we’ll be able to offer more wisdom, more skill, more vulnerability, more ferocity.

Why writers write reason #3

By now, they’ve made an investment. Whether it is an investment of time, or resources, or energy—they see little sense in throwing all of that away just because the journey went sideways a bit.

This is why writers write again. And yet, sometimes, that’s still not enough. The ending is rushed. The antagonist is one-dimensional. The setting doesn’t fill the senses. Too many words. No clear theme. POV is scattered. Research is not thorough. One problem or a web of problems, the piece doesn’t work.

Why writers write reason #4

Often why writers write is all because of the story that needs to be told and how it has bonded to your creative center, your muse, your writer self. The connection, when it is solid, genuine, and nurtured, is the force behind your writing journey.

How many times have I hit a wall of thorns on my writing journey and asked myself, “Now what?” The choices choke me. Do I stow my tools? Do I self-publish even though it’s sub-par? Do I roll up my sleeves and dig for a better story? And even if I do write again, I could be right back here in this predicament again. There is NO guarantee that my words will inspire anyone. NO guarantee that I’ll be successful. NO guarantee that I can instill hope in a single reader.

No reason why I should write again. But I do.

Why do writers write, especially when writing is so difficult? Read this post by Kate Johnston |Author & Story Coach to learn the reasons you write to help you be productive and joyful on your writing journey.

Why this Writer Writes

I live in my imagination. Nothing against the real world, but I have to say—when I have the chance to write, I’m there. I can’t resist the magical lure of another realm and its characters, who, to me, are like real people with real conflicts that need resolution.

Their stories need to be told, and they came to me for that.

Or there is some kind of question I need to answer, a hope to instill, a cause to fight for.

My family complains that I’m hard of hearing because they’ll try to talk to me when I’m doing dishes or another rote household chore, and I won’t respond.

Honey, I say, it’s not that I don’t hear you. You’re simply not in the same world as I am.

Truth, I am that absorbed and immersed and wrapped up in the action that is taking place in my head—which, often, is much more interesting than anything going in the real world.

Sorry, fam.

I feel blessed to conjure ideas and craft them into stories, which is another reason why I write. Many people say they want to write a book, but I get to say that I do write books, that I get to spend my time looking for hidden treasure, rescuing lost hikers, tracking down a murderer, mingling with pirates, and other exciting adventures.

While I’m anxious to bring my stories into the world, to share them with readers, what is more important to me is that I do it for the right reasons. I respect the art of writing too much to simply pen it and publish it. I believe that my people, the ones who live in my imagination, deserve my patience, care, and intensity.

Why this writer writes is because I have answered a calling, and I take it very seriously. That’s probably why I put up with a lot of heartache. Luckily, I’m caught up more by what I absolutely love about writing—that it’s a portal to a realm I can share with others.

Once I understood the reasons why I write, I was able to bushwack a path that fulfilled my criteria. I learned my core purpose as a writer and what I needed to accomplish to stay productive and joyful. Even when I hit those walls of thorns and I wondered if maybe this time I should quit. I reminded myself that writing sustains me and why I love it, in all its unpredictable splendor.

Why do you write? What do you love about writing?

Have a Writerly Day!

0 thoughts on “Why do Writers Write?”

  1. You too? Go away to other worlds when you’re doing rote chores like washing the dishes? I usually craft pieces I’m going to write almost entirely in my head before they are dumped out onto paper (or screen, as the case may be), or come out my mouth. They arrive when I’m busy; doing routine housework, driving, mowing, showering. Ideas and inspirations hit me, sparked by other writers, or by life, and they’re germinated as I putter or work.

    • I once had a conversation with other writers where we all discovered we get some of our best story ideas in the shower. That might be why I take 20-minute showers–I’m totally somewhere else! Daydreaming is an understatement where I’m concerned! Sounds like same is true for you. 🙂

  2. What I love about writing is conjuring a story virtually out of nowhere and turning it into a narrative whole. It’s a loooong process from Point A to Point B, but when the work is finally finished, there aren’t many feelings that can compare to it.

    • It is a loooooong process, and those of us who stick with it, obviously have undeniable passion for the craft. And you’re right, there aren’t many feelings that can compare to that of finishing a writing project. Well, maybe eating pizza or chocolate …

  3. I think so often of how people like to “have written,” rather than “write.” That is often so true for me. Blank pages are misery, but when I start to see an actual story take shape, with characters I LOVE, who are as real as the people I really know…there is something kindof magical about that 🙂

    • Blank pages have never intimidated me. I have always seen them as a challenge I’m eager to attack. But I absolutely agree with you about the magical feeling of seeing your story take shape, unnleashed by characters who live inside our imaginations. Such a high.

  4. I’m writing a memoir, but I love the way writing it helps me see my life from a different perspective. I’m writing it a little like fiction with plenty of dialogue etc, because the truth is more important than the facts… Great post!

    • Memoirs are magical in their own way, it seems, because you get to write about real things that not only personally impacted you but will have the power to move other people. To know that you are bringing something from your life into someone else’s life is a huge, but exciting, responsibility.

      Yes–truth is more important (and more interesting) than the facts. Bet you’re loving the process. 🙂

  5. What a gorgeous post Kate. I had to chuckle at a few things, like when someone is talking to you and you’re in another realm – so identifiable! And of course you topped it off nicely with “Sorry fam”, lol. A mark of a true writer when we are so easily transitioned into another realm at the mere sound or observation of something, anything that wakes us within. 🙂

  6. What do I love about writing? I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question before, which is amazing, since I spend so much of my time, my valued time, WRITING. I love the feel of the pen under my fingers or the keyboard under my fingertips. I love escaping to a place I didn’t know I knew. I love finding out so much about myself just by allowing words to flow from my pen/computer. I love creating characters who suddenly become REAL. I love reading my stories after they’re written, surprising myself with each one. I love sharing my stories. I love the feeling of joy I get each time I put in the time – 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 3 hours – to write. xo

    • I’ve never been asked it before, either. I was thinking about it lately though, because it’s a lot of work for such an uncertain result. What is the payoff? And that’s what got me going…!

      I LOVE your reasons why you love writing. They all resonate with me. Seemingly simple on the surface, but in reality, how many of us truly know what makes us happy in life? Sadly, I don’t think there are many people who have a clear idea, or worse, get a chance to bring it into their lives on a regular basis.

  7. Lovely post, doll! It made me happy to hear your honesty about the process and feelings. Writing is definitely the hardest thing for me, which is also why I love it. This year has been especially challenging to keep up with the blog, but I have kept moving forward with my WIP and the end is near. With as much writing as I do for my career path, it’s nice to be reminded of the love. xo

    • I’ve had trouble getting into consistent blogging over the past couple of years. The main issue is that my kids’ lives have become so much more busy and demands of my time (er, chauffeuring) have increased. It’s a constant struggle, and I don’t really know a great work around anymore.

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve been working on another book! I’d say you definitely have the love!

  8. I, too, live mostly in my imagination. I get criticized about it a lot, but, in the end, it always works out for me and I am quite a bit happier with my life than most people. I can’t do everything here, but, in my imagination, i can do literally anything. I love that. As for writing, I love stories – it isn’t always horror, but a lot is. So, I get to take an idea, twist and turn it, make it real for a few pages, then spook or surprise the reader with a grand ending. I love this. There is no better feeling that to have penned a story that does what you intended it to do. Money? Well, that hasn’t yet been a great enough driving force. i am published – 3 different authors felt I was good enough to be in their pages…I have published several kindle books on my own. I am currently co-authoring a book with my daughter, and I have my own novel going on. I wrote a Fiverr (check it out) https://www.fiverr.com/lynija/create-a-new-horror-story-with-you-as-the-star?context&context_referrer=search_gigs&context_type=auto&pos=15&ref_ctx_id=cb86fe40-2609-4764-a930-3ac55b347146&funnel=5af984af-0a59-4a86-a9e2-f21d41fddaf4
    for a client, and he loved it I fell back in love with writing again. You need to do that! Keep at it, find out what you love, and do it again. I now have my first story for my 2nd compilation.

    • Great thoughts, Scott! And that’s awesome about the client as well as the compilations. Getting encouragement, compliments, and positive feedback from fellow writers is a tip-top feeling. Knowing that someone loves what you wrote is enough to keep us going and figuring out how to get through the tough spots. Without that genuine feeling of fulfillment and love for what you’re doing, it’s very hard to stick with writing. Glad you’re on an upswing!

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