There are plenty of reasons a person can write. There are definitely several reasons for me to do it. This isn’t a “why you should do this” post, these are just my reasons for what I do. Go ahead and use this for inspiration if you want, or to write your own list so you can get down to the bare bones of why you do what you love.
This one is a bit longer than I originally anticipated. Be warned.
1. I fucking love it. Do I enjoy the act of actually writing? Yes. Well… Mostly. I mostly like the feeling of going back and seeing how much I’ve written. You know that whole thing about how writers love to have written? Yeah that. I mean yeah, the actual process of writing is something I do enjoy as well, but the finished product is much more satisfying in ways. Only in ways. Honestly, the actual act is so therapeutic for me, especially when I’m having a really bad day or week, that it’s an amazing escape. Which leads me to the next reason.
2. It’s a way to get out of your own life for a while. Had a bad day at work? Write something violent to get your anger out, or write something happy to distract yourself. Wish something had gone differently? Write how you think it should have gone. Write out your random hopes and dreams, write out your sick fantasies, write out your grocery list. Whatever it is, it makes you focus on the task at hand instead of whatever may be stressing you out at the time, from bills, to drama, to whatever.
3. It’s a great stress relief. This one relates to the point directly above. And as with my recent post about Book Therapy and how I find it helps to even just handle books when I’m feeling sick, I find writing helps just as well. It gets me out of my head and puts me in an entirely different world for a while. I can forget about my own problems for even just an hour, sometimes several, and just focus on the fictional problems of my characters. I know it sounds stupid and completely pointless to still focus on problems, but i find it really does help me. It’s a way to look past all of the stupid things I’m pissed off about and look at how much worse it could be. Yes, in a strange way it is a way to get a more positive outlook on life. Cheesy as fuck, I know, but hey, it works for me.
4. It’s so fucking satisfying! Again I point out how amazing it feels to actually go back and read something you wrote a while back and see just what you managed to come up with. Yes, the writing might be absolutely horrid, but the concept is there. You’re getting your own little uniqueness on paper or typed in a file and making it exist in the universe, and it’s something that no one else has ever done. Maybe there’s something like it, but no one has ever done it in exactly the way that you have. (Unless you’re copying someone else’s work word for word, in which case, how the fuck can you live with yourself and call yourself a writer?)
5. I love telling stories. I love the reactions I get from people when I verbally share a story, and writing stories is the same concept for me. I can talk for hours if I’m in the right company and on the right train of thought, and writing is an easy way to do that without talking someone’s ear off for hours at a time. By writing, I’m leaving it up to the reader to make the time to “hear” the story instead of doing it in person. Not to say I drive people mad with my talking, but this way I don’t have to repeat myself (which I hate doing) and more people can potentially hear the same version of the story so that everyone knows the same thing.
One of my major pet peeves with sharing stories verbally is the changes that people unconsciously make to the details, and then eventually it turns into a completely different story like a massive game of telephone. (Hello, rumours and gossip, I’m talking to you! You, with your lies and hurtful things!) By writing it all out and sharing the same story publicly, like on this blog, everyone hears the same details and nothing can be lost or changed. And this way I don’t have to repeat myself and I can tell even more stories. And that’s what it’s really all about anyway, right?
6. I can do what I want! Yeah, that’s right, I can do what I want. I can write what I want, how I want it. And having the freedom to just write whatever might come to mind is one of the best types of freedom. I see my art the same way as I see my writing. It’s okay if other people doesn’t understand it at all, as long as I do. It’s not for everyone else (no offence), it’s for me. If I want to write some of the cheesiest love scenes ever, I’m going to. If I want to get super violent and take some anger out on a fictional person, I’m damn well going to do that too. There are no limits, and that’s one of the things I love most about it. You are only limited by what you can come up with. No limits, so guidelines, no right or wrong. Anything in possible, and I mean anything, and having the freedom of expression that comes with writing or any other artistic endeavor is an amazingly liberating feeling. Knowing that when you sit down in front of your computer with a blank file open in front of you waiting for words, you can quite literally write anything that pops into your head.
7. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This is a big one for me a lot of the time. That’s what edits are for, right? If I feel that itch to write, I want to just write. Spelling errors and grammar be damned, I just want the scene out of my head and in physical form in front of me either on paper or on a screen. All those rules I learned in English class in high school? Yeah, they don’t matter. In fact, most of the writers that I really enjoy reading, particularly bloggers that I follow (Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds.com for one. Go read his shit, it’s amazing. Seriously.), write more in the way that a person would talk than how your English teacher would have you write a story or essay. Personally, I find that more enjoyable to read, anyway, but just the fact that it’s okay to write like that makes it so much easier to just sit and write and find your own voice. I love that. I feel like reading so many blog posts and articles in the last year or two about finding your voice and whatnot has helped my writing more than I would have expected. I was always such a stickler for grammar thanks for my high school teachers, but I feel like I can express myself better, and what I’m trying to get across in a story, if I just write my own way and throw those old rules out the window. Yes, I do still adhere to them a lot of the time, but not constantly.
8. I have to do it. Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve been drawing. Since I was able to write, I’ve been writing. I get this completely uncontrollable urge to create at times, and I doesn’t go away until I can set aside some time to do what I have in mind. If there’s a drawing I have to work on, I get the image stuck in my head for hours, if not days, until I can sit and translate it onto paper. If there’s a scene playing over and over in my head, it doesn’t stop until I can finally sit and write it out. This means carrying a notebook and some pens in my purse wherever I go and at times literally sitting in the car on the way to work or wherever and writing it all out as I see it in my head just to make it stop.
There are plenty of other reasons why I do what I do, but I figured this post was long enough already. I may write up some more in the future, but this is enough for now. These are kind of just the main reasons, anyway, so they’re the more important ones I thought I should share.
Do you know why you write? Care to share? Feel free to write your own post with your list and share the link in the comments, or just leave a comment with your own reasons below.