Today is the “Why I Write Blogfest” hosted by Kayeleen Hamblin. If you would like to join in the fun, please visit Kayeleens Creation Corner.
So, why do I write? The answer is simple - because I am driven to do so.
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” - George Orwell
The desire to write can be a very fulfilling compulsion. You are creating something new, original and hopefully compelling to readers. However, Orwell was correct that it can be a horrible, exhausting struggle. If you are like me, there is a bit of the perfectionist in you and you will never be completely finished or happy with your art. You just have to decide when to let it go.
Below is an updated version of my post (Dec. 2010) tited “Why Do You Write?”
I fell in love with writing at the age of ten when my cousin and I were playing school. I was the student and she was the teacher – that time. My writing assignment for her became the first of many. I was hooked, in love with the writing process.
I’ve written a lot of fiction and poetry, but (until recently and with the exception of one poem) I’ve only tried to publish my newspaper articles – at least under my real name. I suppose in many ways my writing is a personal experience. I was writing for me, for my enjoyment, for my personal expression and I didn’t want to explain myself to anyone. Some of my pieces are similar to diary entries since they express emotions or circumstances I experienced at the time.
When asking others, I usually hear two answers to the question “Why do you write?” The “It’s-in-my-soul type” (which I have always been a part) claim they write to express themselves and enjoy the creative process. That’s honest and to-the-point. These writers can be happy journaling for themselves or just to share with friends.
The second group says “I want to be published or paid to write” (which I am now a part – I figure if I enjoy writing so much, why worry what others think and I might as well get paid for it). If this is you, it’s not that tough. Modern technology allows easy publication with blogs, websites, or self-publishing your books.
However, if you want a legitimate or well-known publisher to pick up your work, you may have to write about topics that bore you. I’ve done this before. Some will tell you it’s a sell out, but hey, it’s a paycheck and a credit on your resume’. Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll never make millions of dollars writing, but many can make a decent living doing so.
If money is more important to you than the byline or author credit, or if you are the shy writer who doesn’t want the attention, consider ghost writing. Many authors will actually pay you more than they get for the piece to write it for them. They do this because they don’t have time or the inclination to write the required pieces for their editor. The reason the author will offer to pay you more than they will get for the piece (and believe me, you will have to sign a confidentiality clause contract) is because they are protecting their name and credibility. You might be surprised how many “popular” authors today employ ghost writers.
I see many writers committing to write, submit or publish a specific amount of their work. They are so worried about the quantity, I wonder if they will lose quality and I can’t help but ask them “Why do you write?”