eyeWhy do you write?

The question that rivals fingernails on a chalkboard to me. It is a simple question that people, other writers, keep asking. Over and over as though by asking it on various writer sites, they will finally find the answer for themselves.

It grates on my nerves because I don’t know the answer. I don’t know why I write. I do know it is extremely personal and private. The process of digging up emotions and truths from the trauma of my past is painful, cathartic, but ultimately riff with the stench of toxins being released, dealt with, purged.

You might as well ask, why do you bathe? Or why do you vomit? Or why do you go to a therapist? Extremely personal and obviously intrusive, this question drills into my protective shell and makes me feel defensive and exposed.

Why do I write? Because it is my purpose on the planet. To not write would be akin to giving up.

Why don’t you write? Is a question that makes more sense to me. Writing is obvious, like breathing, a necessity that I don’t consider, I just do.

Here are some writer quotes about writing. Maybe we can glean something from them.

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.

~Harlan Ellison

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in the human condition.

~Graham Greene

There are three reasons for becoming a writer. The first is that you need the money; the second, that you have something to say that you think the world should know; and the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings.

~Quinton Crisp

So we write for discipline, therapy, because we need money, we have something to say, and we need something to do. That pretty much sums it up!

Why don’t you write?


2 thoughts on “Why?

  1. I have nothing to say. You hit it right on the head.

    I visibly cringe when people ask me why I write. The only question that gives me more anxiety is ‘So… what’s your book about?’


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