Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why do you write?

This has been a week of tension and drama (not mine), and I've had difficulty coming up with ideas to post about.

Which made me think about the subject of writing. J.D. Salinger reportedly quit publishing his novels because he couldn't stand the critics. He reportedly said, "I write for my own pleasure."

Which got me thinking about writers and their motivations.

I write because it's a compulsion. I have to. It's like working out - I have energy that builds up that needs to be released. Strange, but true. I have no love of the writing process itself - it's just something I need to do. When I am happy with the outcome, that's a plus.

There are various kinds of writing I do - writing for me, writing this blog, writing for publication, writing for work.

When I was a reporter, a police lieutenant told me, "I think it's very brave what you do. I couldn't have thousands of people reading my writing on the front page of a newspaper."

I never thought of it that way - having a job which doesn't pay you millions of dollars but requires you to carry a gun, in my opinion, is much, much more brave.

So I thought I'd ask - how about all of you? Why do you write?


Fireblossom said...

I hope this doesn't sound wrong, but I write because I know I have a rare gift. Spinning something beautiful and powerful, or sweet, out of myself and my ordinary experiences, and seeing it take shape, and then to find that others value it too, and are moved by what I write, is something that never gets old.

In addition to that, I feel as if I have been trusted as the custodian of a Gift that is bigger than I am. It comes from the Divine, through me, and it is my great privilege to nurture that gift.

I'm sorry if that seems overblown, but that's exactly how it seems, for me.

Lynn said...

Mostly I am just writing my blog, minutes for meetings and emails, but I find myself choosing my words carefully.

I am working at a job that is not particularly fulfilling and so I love starting my day by writing for a few minutes. My blog is written from about 5 to 5:30am. That is why I write - to give myself a bit of a creative outlet.

LL Cool Joe said...

I have 2 private blogs where I write about love and gender issues. How I write there is very different to Joey's Pad.

I'm not sure why I write. I'm not sure why I do most of the things I do really. Like you though I need to write, to get the feelings out, to share something too. Like Lynn, I need a creative outlet. I mean really everything I do is seeped in creativity. The way I dress, the car I drive, the way I write and even the diy I do, it's all to do with this desire to be creative.

Maybe that's why I write.

G said...

A very good question indeed.

I started writing around 2005, due to some serious personal issues, and I needed an outlet to vent my frustrations.

Around 2007 I discovered chat rooms, where I was able to get my basic training on how to make a point in under 750 words/4,000 characters.

Friend of mine suggested I move my musings to the blog world in 2008 and except for a few more ups and downs, been emptying my brain out in the blog world ever since.

As for the other part of writing, I write mostly to share a little bit of me with the general public (thus the short story blog), and I write in order to prove something to myself.

It's been a huge learning experience so far, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. No matter what happens in the end, I will never consider myself a failure in this particular pursuit of happiness.

Now, if I could only get my act together to actually finish three other books that I started....

Granny Annie said...

It is the way I talk to myself.

Ily said...

So much of my early life was lost, I am obsessed with it never, ever happening to me again, so not only do I journal, I take pictures of the most ordinary, everyday things...because that day, that moment, with those people, may never come around again (and I want to remember it just the way it was). Sounds corny, but that's why I write/photograph things.

Aliceson said...

Me too. I always have lots to say and writing helps me get it all out of my system. I know some of what I write on my blog may be controversial to some people, but hey if they don't like it then they don't need to read it.

skyewriter said...

If I didn't write, I would be unemployed, homeless, and most of all insane (legally).

Some of my most loyal friends are words. I cannot image life without language: written, spoken, heard, gestured.

Words are life. Writing is the breath that keeps it moving...

Hope you had a great weekend, RK.

Ho said...

I love to write even before the age of electronic mails and technology. I suppose writing is therapeutic at times and most importantly also a time of reflection :D

Darth Weasel said...

I have never figured out why I write. Usually I am hoping to get people to laugh, sometimes I am venting, sometimes just random musings.

Maybe secretly I crave attention and that is the best way to get it from a handful of friends and a large number of anonymous people...I am led to believe this by the hit counter I installed on a couple of my blogs. But I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I write because I don't know how not to. I've been writing ever since the eighth grade when I had a Language Arts teacher who inspired me to start writing creatively. I've been better at communicating through writing than through any other medium. I have always wanted to write a book. However, with my work, I don't have the inspiration to do so at this time. However, I'm very politically aware, so I combined my love of writing with quick thoughts on a blog that I can write on whenever I have the time and feel like it. It helps me keep up with my creative skills, and actually aids me in ideas for whenever I stop being a chicken shit and try out the comedy thing. Basically, I'm more of a creative person and this lets me maintain that creative slide.

JLee said...

Interesting perspective from the cop about bravery. lol
I think I just write because it's cathartic. I kept a journal in high school and really enjoyed it, although sometimes I find it hard to write the deeper things (like a diary) Still, the feedback is nice too when you're faced with a problem or issue you're struggling with.

Green tea said...

I never thought about why I write a blog.
Sometimes it is just to clear my mind.
I tried writing a journal, but didn't feel I could be honest.
There are times that I just don't know what I want to write and then something pisses me off.. :)

Darrin.. said...

I write because I have to. Sometimes a week will go by before I suddenly feel the urge to purge my soul, and sometimes no matter how much I write, it's not enough. It calms me, and gives me great satisfaction and a sense of self worth.

I've always been better with the written word than the spoken. I feel if I could only speak as well as I write, I could conquer the world! LOL!

As for my blog.. I try not to rant. I use it as a means to reminisce, and keep things "light". For myself... and my readers.