“Why do you write?”
I know I’ve asked this question of myself and others often. My guess is you have as well.
Each person is by definition a writer, whether they are paid to or not. Putting thoughts on paper or the computer via a typewriter, keyboard or in a notebook says you are. But are you a writer?
There are so many different ways and styles of writing, and so are the reasons that set writers down that path of producing their work. It can speak to millions or just a handful. The intention is always to convey information and thoughts but what that can actually represent is varied. Every year, writers produce a gazillion letters of the alphabet. No lie! And they use the appropriate grammar and punctuation to highlight facts, fiction, statistics, imagery, instructions, emotions, stories, poems, education, research and so much more…
But are you a writer?
It took me years to begin dedicating the majority of my time to it. The activities of daily life – family, home, friends, and job – were my priorities before I fully embraced the notion of becoming a writer for pleasure, and ultimately, for a living. Now it’s just a part of my identity.
And it refuses to let go.
Publishing a book last year, and actually selling books suggests I’m a writer too. So yeah, I’ll call myself a writer now.
I do it because I like everything about it. From beginning to end. Anticipating thoughts, letting them swirl around my head, the sound of my fingers hitting the keys rhythmically, constructing the right lines, and pristinely defining the feelings which bubble up. It’s all so rich and satisfying. And when you feel like it’s some of your best-written work, just wow.
In those still moments, I also want to understand more about myself. Even in times when the climate consists of disturbances around me, I tune them out and tune in to the place in my head where liquid thoughts move freely. Pulling one out after the other, I create a string of coherency and then pound them out on the keyboard. It’s about grasping the feelings and defining the deeper meanings. Writing helps me capture the essence of who I am.
This is why I do it. For myself, for me alone.
But it’s not what motivates me to make it public.
I knew I could pull a sentence together and usually had something good to say. But that never felt creative, just that I knew words. Writing on my blogs as well as others and getting the book to market have been the best ways for me to showcase my creativity. Who knew I had imagination too?!? I certainly didn’t for the longest time. It’s work, effort, emotionally-charged but oh so very fulfilling!
Getting it all out in public translates to being understandable and relatable. The bonus is achieving a palpable peace. Every bit of myself and the writing is intended to come with clarity and honesty. The goal is to put a spotlight on my humanity in whatever way my brain dictates it. Then voila’, each piece of writing becomes a short burst about who I am. I let the tale sell the author.
Making connections with individuals in the writing community is another wonderful perk and motivation to give more. I’ve been thrilled to rub elbows with some fellow writers that have the same intentions. They feel like my people. Their drive to write seems to mirror my journey. I run to them. Especially the ones with their elegant and brilliant style. They just pick up a pen and out comes the magic. It’s as if they easily command the dictionary to do their bidding in an incredibly harmonic way. Being open with my writing, I hope they glance my way. They help guide me to even better expression. And they enrich my life with their skills.
So why do you write?