Friend and critique partner Jo Hart wrote a post on the Top 5 Reasons Why I Write, and it got me thinking about my own reasons.
1. I’m in love with words. Any language. Ever read a story, poem, or novel, and just hug the book to yourself afterward? And think, “Wow, I can only think ‘wow'”? And sometimes, finding the exact right word for what you mean feels like an adrenaline high? And Word-of-the-Day calendars are great & all, but they only give you 365 words, and that’s not quite enough?
2. Writing feels good. If I can string words together in what I think is a pleasing way, I read them over and over and feel really good. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a string of words (see above) – it can be one, e.g. “epiphany.”
(Yup, brilliant. Feels good, doesn’t it?)
3. I can’t not write. I’ve always written things down. The only times I’ve imagined a world in which I don’t write are times when I’ve been severely depressed. Which is, you know, not fun for anyone.
4. It’s cathartic. Depressed, bitchy, manic – it all goes into the diary at some point; it all goes into the stories.
5. I’m self-absorbed. If ever fiction fails me, I can fill up diary books (and, sorry, yes, blog posts) all about ME.
6. Sometimes I get an idea or have a dream that I have to write down (e.g. girls sneak out of beautiful city to explore ravaged city full of scary creatures)
7. I’m too in love with office supplies to stop. Notebooks, diaries, pens, markers, dry erase boards, index cards…writing is a great excuse to buy these things.
So, how about you?
I’m right there with you. Whether I’m blogging, writing some fiction, poetry, or just recapping an event that I would like to remember, I’m always writing. And I totally agree with you that writing is cathartic. I wish that everyone had the ability to write as a tool for relief, but not everyone does and therefore I consider myself fortunate. Great post!
Rob, we are fortunate! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love your reasons, Beth, especially number 3. ‘I can’t not write’ – that says it all, really.
Yeah, I probably could have just left it at #3. But then I wouldn’t have had as much to write for this post! Thanks for the inspiration, Jo, in posting your reasons earlier this week!
The catharsis I don’t quite get as much, anymore. I don’t know if that’s a function of failing eyesight, or….
It’s odd. When I get motivated, I can churn it out, but if I let it alone for a time, it takes awhile to return. I also feel like I’m scatterbrained more often as I get older. It’s not so much that I’m distracted by random other things, off-topic, but that the fingers don’t work fast enough to get out the thought before it’s overtaken by something else.
A source of frustration sometimes? Probably.
“It’s all about the office supplies.” – Yes, yes it is. 🙂
And I agree with #5 too. I can fill pages upon pages with mindless, self-centered rants.
Sean, that does sound frustrating. And speaking the pain isn’t quite the same as writing it, although I’m sure with time, your brain/fingers/mouth could work out a compromise. Still, it’s gotta be rough.
Maggie, maybe most of us writers are self-centered. Or maybe it’s mostly a function of “writing what you know” and we know ourselves best?
A cathartic and learning process that thrills and frustrates. Hysterical about the office supplies. Aaaaand–so true!
I know, right, PB? A new notebook is PURE JOY. I like what you said, though – “thrills and frustrates.” Because it can be so difficult! When things are working, though, man. Goodtimes.
I write to get it all outta my head – brain dump! Sadly I don’t do it enough & then my thoughts start to take over, which is never a good thing – for me anyways. I write to “process” my thoughts because I know they aren’t crystal clear, most of the time, & I also like to see “who” I was, who I’m becoming, that sort of thing. Great post! Leaves me with even more thoughts! 🙂
Yes! I do that too, Vic. It’s like the internal lists and thoughts and processes need to get written down.