I’ve said many times that writers write, right? But I haven’t really asked you to think about why you write. Do you write for money? There are easier and quicker ways to earn money. Do you write for emotional reasons? There are other ways to deal with your emotions. Do you write to dig deeper spiritually? There are numerous venues to connect with your spiritual being.
So, why do you write? Here’s a common list of why writers write. If yours isn’t on the list, it only means it’s not on this list. It doesn’t mean it’s not a valid reason. Have fun going over the list.
- To share–perhaps you share your ideas, your emotions, your experiences, your concerns, or even your obsessions with other people.
- To express yourself.
- To explore topics that interest you.
- To offer knowledge or wisdom to others.
- To motivate others.
- To experiment with new genres (mystery, romance, sci-fi), different forms (poetry, short story, essay), or various approaches (first person, omniscient, narration).
- To persuade others.
- To grow as a writer or as a person.
- To connect with others.
- To work through whatever life issue you’re dealing with.
- To establish your authority, reputation, or expertise in a subject.
- To create something artistic.
- To gain the respect or approval of others.
- To escape from everyday pressures/stresses.
- To create something to pass on to others–family, friends, the world.
- To prove to yourself that you can do it–that you really can write.
- To earn money (or fame).
- To build a writing career.
- To see if you really want to be a writer.
There are other reasons writers write that I didn’t list, so don’t think your reason isn’t valid if I didn’t mention it. On the other hand, here are some reasons not to write.
- To hurt others.
- To defraud others.
- To libel others.
- To get revenge.
- To create more misery for you to immerse yourself in (sometimes called a pity party for yourself).
- To avoid responsibility (such as providing for yourself or your family).
If your motivation to write comes from the wrong list (the bottom list), stop! If you can honestly say you’re writing for the right reasons (the top list), give yourself permission to continue. Happy writing!