It’s a simple question, but one I’ve found a lot of writers have never asked themselves.
I write because I have stories and I want to tell them. Compulsion pulls me through where a reasonable person may surrender. There are days where I think “even if no one ever sees this, I need to complete it.” That’s an internal part of writing, when an idea gets too big to hold in my head and needs to come out to the page. There are stories of mine I’ll never seek to publish. I “had” to write them, but that doesn’t mean they are good or meant for public consumption. Two, even though they are fiction, just mean personal things I don’t want to share. Others are artistic dabbles that I either think aren’t good or may be acceptable but not noteworthy enough to go through the work trying to publish.
I write because I enjoy reading but it’s rare I find an engaging story. Arrogance at it’s finest, to think I can be more unique and captivating that those already published. What I want is so niche it’s probably not worth creating. If I’m looking for a gritty urban fantasy with relatable characters, attainable goals, and both good and negative parts of magic and myth running the world, there must be other people looking for that. Urban fantasy readers can’t all be there for the romance and laughs. Some of them must be like me looking for the substance. American Gods exists and was a huge hit. There are so many other directions a work like that could go that I want to see.
I write as a way for reaching out to others. As someone shy, nervous, and concerned about other’s feelings and perspectives, there is no better way to broach difficult topics than through fiction. It’s a lot harder to feel attacked by an idea expressed in an imaginary world than an idea that will affect people now. Stories create space for people to say “that’s an interesting idea, could it work here?” or “I wonder if issue X is relevant now and what that looks like?”
I write because it distracts me when my anxiety is high. To a lesser extent: I write when I’m depressed because I need something beautiful or I write when the world spins out of control because writing is all in my hands. Most writers I know have an element of this. They are pensive, depressed, anxious, socially awkward and writing mitigates that for them.
I write because it’s one of the few skills I have that makes me proud and leaves me feeling accomplished. I write because I have something to say and I’m always exploring new ways to express my points.
And now you, the reader, know me better. Tell me something about yourself. Are you a writer? What do you write? If it’s fiction in nature, why write it? If you’re a reader, what do you read and why read it?