Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Do You Write?

If you want to hear a lot of cliches, ask a room full of writers why they write. For being people of words, they sure don't use too many original ones when they respond.

"I can't NOT do it."
"Writing is like breathing."
"I have a story to tell."

Frankly, I see it as raw talent completely within my control to screw up, polish, excel at and enjoy. It's empowerment. God (or the power you believe in) gave me a seed of desire to write, then cast me into the world to see what I'd do with it. If I lost everything in my life, I could still write. That makes it a friend, a close one. Yeah, I feel all those cliche sayings above, but writing is more than that. It's a huge guide through my life.

Grant Snyder, www.incidentalcomics.com , addressed ambition in an infographic comic. I easily equated it to why we write. To paraphrase:

We love what we do. We work hard at it, growing it, becoming recognized for it. Competition challenges us, sometimes instilling self-doubt. We worry, we struggle, and if we're dedicated, we grow into a bigger force. And sometimes we lose control of it, or take the wrong path with it . . . and we crash. You're left with one thing . . . the ambition that started you going in the first place.

Like that one friend that sticks by you through thick and thin . . . you always have writing.


Now . . . why do you write?


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(For more on Grant Snyder:
Twitter - @grantdraws
Facebook - Incidental Comics
Tumblr - Incidental Comics )


10 comments:

Sean McLachlan said...

Hegel said, "Happiness is the expression of self." I'm happier when I'm writing or have written well. It's pretty much that simple. Besides, I want to be heard. My travel, history, and fiction writing all express different parts of my personality and worldview. I have to do all of them to be happy.

Hope Clark said...

Yes, I like that, Sean. I'm happiest when I'm writing or have written well. That plain and simple.

Sioux said...

The evolution of a piece keeps me writing. Seeing a story or essay or (yikes!) novel go from a steaming pile of poop to something that makes people laugh or cry...That's why I write.

Val said...

I write to let the crazy out. Kind of like a steaming pile of poop. Thanks, Sioux, for lending me that description.

Joy Keeney said...

I write because the characters in my head won't let me not write. I've tried to stop but that gets them worked up and they tend to be a bit rowdy. They quiet down once the words start flowing.

Jordan Clary said...

Wow! I almost feel base saying this but at the moment I write for money. I put my dreams on hold for much of my life supporting my family and taking the 'secure' route of college teaching. Well, a year and a half ago I found out just how secure that route is. I went to India on a Fulbright scholarship and while I was gone I was basically 'ousted' from the college where I had been working. I came back to no job in a town of less than 10,000 and had to take a $12 an hour job as a newspaper reporter. I was devastated and demoralized every time I got a pay check and it wasn't enough to pay my bills. I finally quit, and have an online teaching gig (for a different college), so I'm able to at least pay my bills while I get on my freelancing feet. So I guess I write because, while I can't trust the world of employment, I can trust my abilities as a writer to give me a decent income. I hope this didn't come off as a tirade but your post really struck a chord!

Hope Clark said...

Jordan
I so get that! But what you've done is developed a talent that you can trust to take care of you in your life. And to enjoy doing it at the same time? That's such a win-win! No...not a rant. (Though I'd be pissed if I came back from something as prestigious as a Fulbright only to find my job gone. Wow. That's low.)

But I see you're bouncing back. Good luck in the journey.

Charity said...

This is awesome!

Rebecca Thompson said...

Though it hurts to write, it is desolate to say nothing. I write because I am drawn, moved, or hurt. The draw aches but it is a compelling voice that haunts me. I can hide from the voice, I can hush it, crush it for years... But it always summons, telling me that there is no silence when there is a tale to tell.

Rebecca Thompson said...

Though it hurts to write, it is desolate to say nothing. I write because I am drawn, moved, or hurt. The draw aches but it is a compelling voice that haunts me. I can hide from the voice, I can hush it, crush it for years... But it always summons, telling me that there is no silence when there is a tale to tell.