Monday, October 1, 2012

Why I Write

I read an interesting post on Purdie Writing about why she writes and it made me think a little about why I write.

Because I always have- Ever since I was a little kid I've been making up stories.  I remember crafting these complicated stories and then getting my friends to act it out.  It was basically long-form prompted dramatic improv.  There were a few primary story lines that we'd do again and again, some fully made up and others based on Grimms Brothers Tales.  I also invented two to three ghost stories around Halloween each year and had a story or two that I was telling to my sister.  I completed my first novel when I was fourteen.  I wrote various short stories and I have several journals full of writings.  I have to write.  It's just too integral a part of me.
Creative outlet- This is my primary reason for writing.  It's an outlet.  There is a zone that I get into when the words just seem to flow.  I like writing.  I'm very lucky that I am able to just spend time doing something that I like.  Maybe it's a little selfish, but it's fun :)

It's hard- I've got to worry about characterization, pacing, description, plot, themes... Sometimes I know an outcome that needs to happen and it's like a maze of emotions, actions and motivations to get my characters to the end point (or I learn that it's not an endpoint that my characters would or could get themselves into.)  Sometimes I delete weeks worth of work because it just won't fit.  Most of you are writers.  You know that it's not easy. 

I love books- I enjoy the novel as an art form.  Writing allows me to understand more about what I read and why I like what I like.  Also, I want to "give back" to the reading community.  I was one of those kids who always had a book in my hand.  I'd go through hundreds of books a year.  I even read the whole series of encyclopedias that my family had.

It's a legitimate way to play pretend and daydream- I get to be that little kid in the backyard again, coming up with stories and inventing characters.  It's active escapism.  I'm not Lauren anymore; I'm Hailey, I'm Altis, I'm Nazarie, I'm Lydia, I'm a thousand different people.  I get to play with dragons, dance with daggers, eat food that doesn't even exist.  And I'm writing so people don't call me crazy.

I want to get published- There is a reason this is last.  I would like to get published.  I want to go into a book store and see my book on the shelf.  Maybe that's only to justify the hours I spend on my writing, but I also think it's to validate my writing.

Why do you write? 

6 tidbits:

Golden Eagle said...

I love your list!

I write mostly for its function as a creative outlet. Coming up with new ideas is so much fun.

Beth said...

Why do I write? To quote Gloria Steinem, “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.”

thanks for the visit… :)

Anonymous said...

"It's a legitimate way to play pretend and daydream"

This is it for me for sure. That,and writing provided me with a way to scratch the "I'm making things" itch that I seem to get so often.

Okay, one more thing. I'm a computer programmer and I love to solve problems. Crafting a story to me is one big problem solving exercise, like solving a puzzle only you have no idea what the puzzle is supposed to look like until it's all put together.

Lauren said...

@Golden Eagle- I agree, a new idea is fun.

@Beth- That's a great quote. I hadn't heard it before.

@Struggling Writer- Making new things/worlds/ideas is a great reason!

Charles Gramlich said...

All very good reasons. I think for me, a lot of it is justification for something I really just want to do anyway, which is daydream and make up stories and have fun with them.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great list! I don't know when I first started putting down stories on paper - but it was years (decades?) after I wrote stories in my head. I've always loved to read, but it didn't cross my mind that I could write my own until well after my kids were born! :)

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