Last week’s post on the Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Other Writers made me ponder more on why writers write.
I came up with a few reasons people are drawn to write in that post, and I’ve added a few:
· passion – the inner drive that longs for putting words into print
· to preserve the memories of a loved one
· to preserve family history
· to conquer an obstacle
· to persuade
· to inform
· to create –a world or characters
· to give voice to someone who can’t speak for themselves
All of these are good reasons, but there are two specific reasons that encompass all these individual paths leading people to write, and those are to express oneself and to share.
There are ideas, thoughts, and emotions that people feel driven to put down in a concrete form, as opposed to letting them remain bouncing around inside their heads. Which is one reason why I feel it’s so important to encourage other people to put a voice to their stories. Every person has a unique set of life experiences that help shape and form their stories. It’s the idea that we’re all different, but we’re all the same. Every person’s story can resonate with someone else. I truly believe that there is a pocket of people out there for every person’s writing. You just have to find your pocket.
I used to mistakenly wonder how certain writers were getting published. I thought the stories were horrible and sometimes poorly written. Well, the poorly written part can always be worked out. It just requires a commitment to edit the piece until the original vision is fully realized in print. But the other part, about thinking the story was horrible, I came to realize that it’s because I’m wasn’t in that person’s pocket. It will speak to someone, it just didn’t speak to me.
When I came to think that way, I realized how important it is to help other writers see their potential, nurture their desire to write, and help them reach their goals.
The second part, sharing, is something that I think writers and especially new writers sometimes forget. It’s hard when you’re first starting out, especially depending on how much of your personal identity is wrapped up in being a writer, to put your work out there for other people to see. No one wants to hear harsh criticism. We’re all secretly hoping that everyone will find our work to be brilliant, and tell us, so that we can keep that desire to write burning and move forward to our next masterpiece.
But if you’re a writer, and you’re not sharing your work, even if it’s just with a small writing group, you’re missing out on half of the point of writing. If you didn’t intend to share it, what was the point of writing it down?
When you feel bogged down by insecurities, or you’re bashing your head on the wall in frustration over editing or coming up with new story ideas, just realize you’re not alone. We’ve all been there before. The more you reach out to other writers, the more support and encouragement you’ll have for those times when you’re not sure if you can keep going. Best of luck in your writing, and if you’ve been thinking about writing, but you haven’t started, today seems like a good day to give it a try.
What are your reasons for wanting to write?