It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another installment of YOU TELL ME, the part of the blog where I stop pontificating and let you pontificate like the pontiff you’ve always wanted to be. So speak up, you silly pontiff, you.
This week: not a multiple choice test. Put away your #2 pencils and scantron sheets, because this is an essay question.
You tell me: Why do you write? What makes you pick up the pen/typewriter/laptop/quill and parchment and put words to the page? What makes you overcome the doubters and the rejections and the heartache to wake up the next day and write some more? What compels you through the hours of toiling in obscurity and the uncertain prospects of success?
Subquestion 1a: what advice do you have for your fellow writers to keep on going?
Discuss amongst yourselves.
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Pat Logan says
Like David, I just wrote a post on my blog on the very same topic recently. Small world.
I write because I like to write. If I ever read my work and didn’t get a kick out of it, if I didn’t lose myself in my work, if I didn’t have fun at some level with it then I would know it was time to stop.
For other writers? If you love to write, don’t give up, and never let anyone tell you that what’s inside you isn’t worth writing. Even if you never publish one thing, you’re still a writer.
How many of today’s classic writers were discovered after they left this earth? You never know who may be reading your words 100 years from now. Just be the best writer you can be.
I write because I want to sit with the popular kids at lunch.
Seriously, writing is just the coolest thing ever. Why do you think that most people say they’d like to write a novel someday? You don’t often hear people say they’d like to sell insurance someday, or perform surgery someday–or even knit a sweater or play piano someday. Nope, writing a novel is the ultimate dream.
I used to be a day-dreamer at night. In my bed, these stories and scenes would flash through my head. Maybe a mechanism to clear my head from everyday worries. At one point, these scenes got bigger, disjointed storylines somehow had the beginning of cohesiveness and I just had to write.
To keep going? I joined an online critique group. It keeps me pushing to submit a chapter at least once every 2 or 3 weeks. If I wait longer, I’m afraid I’ll lose some of my regular critters. Less dramatic, my regular critters lose touch with the story. For me, it’s a great way to keep pushing myself to write.
Writing is the elixir of the mentally challenged.
Admit you’re nuts for obsessing over a comma.
Admit you’re nuts for trying to understand the publishing industry.
Admit you envy Dan Brown.
Admit you’re a masochist.
I fit this profile and this is why I write.
I write because it’s fun. Because it’s a fantastic escape from my very practical profession. Because I’m a creative person at heart but for some reason I keep thinking I can be good at the sciences.
Because I have dreams that demand to be told. Because I can hear the music, sometimes, that underlies the scene that I’m writing, and my fingers can’t do anything other than type, or put pencil to paper.
Because there are authors out there that make me clutch a book to my chest and say, damn. I hope that someday I will have a novel out there that does the same to someone else.
Because my imagination runs away from me, sometimes, and I get frustrated when I can’t follow. Because people tell me that I’m pretty good at it (though some might have a little familial bias). Because I always have, and I hope I always will. It’s taken a while, but I’ve found out that writing is what makes me happiest.
I write because I love it, and because, to quote Stephen King, “it’s the best legal high”.
I am very busy with my teaching job, and nothing pleases me more in my off time to relax and escape into the worlds I’ve created.
My advice about writing is the same advice I would give about life in general- keep doing the things you love.
I never really meant to write. I never considered it. And then I wrote on a lark, and realized that it’d been in the back of mind my whole life. It felt so right.
I’m like Heather: my brain has been making up stories all my life, and I just can’t get it to shut up. It feels better if I get it out of my head and on paper.
When I’m uninspired, money and deadline inspire me. Fear’s a good one for me, unfortunately. Tends to stress me out, though. 🙂
At the end of the day, my very worst writing days feel satisfying. I just feel like I did what I was meant to do that day, and I feel okay. That’s what keeps me going, I guess.
Peter R says
I write to bring my characters to life – I want to publish so they can live. And because it whiles away the hours on the commute to work – I’d go mad if I had nothing to do. Because it’s a challenge to always improve – a very tricky art that needs to be mastered. Because once an idea is written down it takes on a life of its own.
Advice to other writers: keep going, don’t stop until you reach the end, don’t edit until you reach the last page, don’t listen to anyone, except your characters, until the first draft is laid out on paper. And remember, your first, second, and third drafts are crap, but each one moves you closer to perfection.
Just Believe By Gloria Jai says
I feel like I can help people through the Power of Words.