We have talked about entertaining. We have talked about informing.
We have talked about the need to pass down a legacy.
Are those reasons enough to write?
They are rather concrete, solid reasons. Add in there the desire by some to become rich and famous, and I could say, with very little argument, that I have covered every reason that a writer writes.
But is that all?
We are all writers here on WordPress. No matter our level of experience or our subject, we are a vast community of writers that are pulled, always, to do a little more, explore a little more, communicate a little more.
Many of us are unknowns; authors with no books on a shelf, or articles on a website. We write into the void, and sometimes the void answers back with the responsive voice of a reader who has, miraculously it seems at times, stumbled upon our humble attempt to fill the writing world with just a little more writing.
But why do we do that?
I get those of us who make money from writing; whether through reporting, essays, or books… but what of those of us who make no money at all? Who, in fact, struggle with the money and the lack of publishing that often leads to guilt or depression or despair…
…yet, still do it. Day after day. Month after month.
Why do those writers keep coming back?
Glutton for punishment?
Or something a little more mystical?
Yes. I said it: Mystical. Other worldly.
I don’t care what term you use (purpose from God or the Universe; the magic of human beings; magic in general; I say the “woowoo” stuff), you know exactly what I am talking about.
The woowoo stuff.
The feeling that we “have” to write because when we stop something breaks in our lives.
Didn’t Maya Angelou say something like “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you?”
The feeling that we are not whole unless we are putting down ideas, and thoughts, and creating worlds of fantastic characters. There is an urge, almost physical, somewhere in our chests, or our bellies, or deep at the base of our spine, that pulls and pushes and demands… and aches.
An urge that must be noticed because when it’s ignored, it affects every single aspect of our being; even if we don’t admit it.
Why do writer’s write?
Because we have to.
Of course, sometimes knowing that is still not enough to keep the demons at bay. Even those who are published and “successful” feel the demons rising up from the abyss. And though this woowoo is a huge part of the “why,” it rarely is enough to push us out of the darkness when the darkness descends.
We need other reasons then; other motivations. Deadlines are good, but the process of writing often is a self -motivated one, and even for those of us with deadlines from publishers and editors, the drive can fall flat and leave us desperately struggling through pages.
As writers, we need something that will keep us going even when the entire Universe and God seems to be transpiring against us.
What might that be?
We’ll explore this a little more later on; but in the mean time, if you have an idea or an answer, please do share.