Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – Why do we write?

Is there a simple answer to this question? Do we write for money or fame? Do we write because it satiates our artistic vein? Do we write simply because we enjoy it? Or is it an undefinable combination of all of these reasons?

Researching this topic I found lots of catch-phrases like ‘Why do fish swim?’ But is it that simple? Do writers write because it is imprinted upon our genes? Do we write because we need an outlet to express ourselves?

Okay, so you’ve probably noticed that I have gone a bit overboard with the questions. But that is because I don’t believe there is a definable answer to this question, how can I possibly know the motivation behind thousands (perhaps millions) of writers around the globe. The one question I can answer, however, is why I write.

The answer to this question has changed over the past few years.

Just over two years ago when I first started writing (see here for a post on the reasons I sat down and wrote my first novel) I did it because I thought it could be a career path for me (feel free to translate this into MONEY & FAME!). Now, you need to give me the benefit of the doubt, I was green, I had no idea of how the publishing industry worked. I was of the foolish belief that you wrote a book, sent it off to publishing companies and badda-bing-badda-boom you had a contract to publish not only the manuscript you had already completed but the two sequels that you were planning as well. (Hey, stop laughing at me, I told you I was naive). Now obviously I know better, but guess what? I am still writing.

Perhaps I write because I am a little bit crazy. I mean this in the nicest possible way. But the fact remains that I have little voices in my head. For as long as I can remember I have plotted out scenes in my mind. I would see a hot guy walking down the street and within seconds I would have constructed a way for a plain looking brunette girl to insert herself into his path, within minutes I have plotted out their entire relationship all the way through to their heartbreaking divorce. My husand is running 5 minutes late from work and my little voices decide that he has gotten into a car accident. Within minutes I am writing a eulogy (morbid I know, but my brain can’t stop plotting out possibilities). Since I started writing my crazy plotting has more focus. Instead of planning my husbands funeral I now can plot out where my characters are going to go next in there stories, all around it seems a much more healthy passtime. So I guess in some ways you could say that I write to maintain my sanity.

But most of all I write because it makes me happy. Noone could sit at the computer night after night, day after day, typing away if they didn’t enjoy it. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t hope that I will one day be able to have my books published and be able to make a living as an author (of course I do) but it doesn’t define me and I know I will keep writing no matter what.

Why do you think writers write? Are you a writer? Why do you write? What inspires you?

This is also a check-in for ROW80. You may have noticed that I am now only checking-in weekly for ROW80 this is only because it fits in better with my blogging schedule. Good news is I have had a good week. Word counts for the week were:

Thurs – 775

Fri – 1536

Sat – 2034

Sun – 806

Mon – 641

Tues – 518

Wed – 566

Which gives me a total for the week of 6876 and a total of 34605 for ROW80 so far. Not too shabby, if I may say so myself. I completed the critiquing I needed to do and I shared the love with my fellow ROW80’s, but I didn’t finish reading ‘We Are Not Alone’ motivation was down following my MySpace debarcle that you can read about here.

Goals for this week are:

  1. Continue with 500+ words a day on Soul Hunter
  2. Comment on at least 10 ROW80 blogs
  3. Finish reading We Are Not Alone
  4. Finish reading the novel sitting on my bedside table

Hope you are all going well with your ROW80 goals. See you all next week.

Jody Moller

17 responses to “Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – Why do we write?

  1. Congratulations on the good week.
    I write I can’t not write–cliche, but true. And because I’m a little crazy. I don’t plot in my head but there’s always dialogue going up there.
    Best wishes for another good week.

  2. I feel my answer to the “why we write” question is pretty simple, and that’s how I like it. It’s simply, “because nothing makes me happier.” Some other things have come close, but, ultimately, when I create, especially a world of words and characters and plot and story, I’m more content than I am doing anything else…even when the writing is frustrating.

    Great work on the RoW goals, too! Keep it up!

    • And of course nothing is better than being able to absorb yourself in a world you created when nothing in the real world is going to way you want it (ignore my negativity, the kids drove me crazy today. I am looking forward to heading to ‘Hell’ for a few hours and hanging out with my Demons) 🙂

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this too. When I first started writing, I believed I could honestly make a career out of writing. Now, I’m still trying, but I’m not naive enough to believe it will happen in the blink of an eye. It’s hard work, but I’m still writing. No matter how many times I contemplate quitting, I can’t. Another writer once told me that although it’s tough trying to get published, it’s even harder NOT to write. That’s so true. Even though I may not make it to fame and fortunes, I won’t give up writing because it’s what I LOVE! Great post, and good job on your word count goals!

  4. Jody! I loved this post. I think we as writers, at one point or another, must sit down and write out this article. The answering to this question — we know — is subjective, but it’s a matter of putting words — what we do best — to a feeling that arrives from something that generally only happens while writing. I loved what you had to say on the subject.

    This was my favorite part: “Perhaps I write because I am a little bit crazy. I mean this in the nicest possible way. But the fact remains that I have little voices in my head.” Honestly, your 6th paragraph from the top had me emphatically bobbing my head up and down and saying “YES!” I know EXACTLY what you mean. 🙂

    Thanks for writing!!

  5. I am the opposite, I started out writing because the crazy voices in my head left me with no other choice but to write. Now many years later, I think I may try to publish. I don’t think I will make a career out of it but that could just be the self doubt talking. I do think it would be nice for people besides myself to read my writing and hopefully like it.

    I will never stop writing though, I do feel like it is in my blood.

    • I do think that writing has helped me focus the voices in my head. Now I spend less time fantasising about movie stars and more time fantasising about my own fictional characters – can I call that a step forward?

  6. hahahaha! Thank you. I thought I was the only one who plotted death scenes and eulogies! If I’m working late and my husband doesn’t answer the phone (mind you, we get crappy cell service and I know this) I imagine he’s fallen down the stairs and broken his neck after having a few glasses of wine waiting for me to come home. Because why else doesn’t he answer? It’s not wishful thinking, just an overactive imagination on my part I suppose.

  7. Don’t you think it is amazing how inventive you can get when imagining a loved ones death? I am constantly suprised by the ways my hubby dies in my head. Like you said I don’t wish my husband dead (love him to death maybe but I don’t think that’s the same) I just have a ridiculous imagination 🙂

  8. LoL, I was totally laughing throughout this article because I share many of the same sentiments.

    Right now I feel I write because of those “voices in the head” but also because I have a vision. I see things (as if hearing things wasn’t enough!) and I want to express them; sometimes the best way to do this is through writing.

    Not always easy but worth the effort. 😀

    Also, I think you touched on the conditional nature of this question, as reasons for writing may vary between writers but can also change for the individual as time goes by. It’s a journey!

    (And btw, thanks for the mention, Anthony. I may not have discovered Jody otherwise!)

  9. Pingback: Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – Why We Write What We Write + ROW80 | Jody Moller on Movies, Manuscripts and Mayhem

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