Why Do YOU Write?
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
Writing is an act of solitude. A private, personal act that requires time, dedication, and resilience. But, I believe the most important ingredient to writing is the enjoyment of the process itself. Once you as a writer, lose that, you lose the key ingredient to self-fulfillment and a satisfying hobby, if not, career.
Do you even know why you write? Have you ever taken a real look at the reasons why you feel compelled to put words down on paper?
Is it a hungry pursuit towards publication in hopes of attention, praise, fame, finances, and accolades? If this is the only reason why you wish to pursue a career in writing, my only suggestion to you is: STOP.
The journey towards publication can be a long and not-so-arduous one. Rejection letters become in of themselves, an organic beast that breathes its fiery tongue of the writer’s fear and expectation: the answer, “NO.”
I know. I used to have to write them as an editorial assistant for the small publishing company I worked for—and believe me when I say, it pained me to do so because I know exactly how it feels to receive such a letter.
Collect enough of these templated drafts of polite, politically correct, and fiercely indifferent pieces of correspondence and you could very well build a house of shame.
So, if your ultimate goal is publication and publication alone, you’re in for a deeply narcissistic, angry, and resentful walk through the valley of the white page—or the poorly written page that never comes to press.
Or your work could be brilliant and you DO publish, but the satisfaction of publication will never be enough because unless you’re Euterpe, muse of lyric poetry, or already an iconic, literary publisher’s household name, your work won’t always make it to print.
Why do you write? What drives you to conquering the white page? What are the reasons for your call to a creative writing life? What about it gives you real fulfillment? Write a piece exploring these questions to try to find a better understanding of what motivates you to be a writer. Use it as a writing exercise, a self-awareness tool, and/or a piece of reaffirmation.
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.
– Gloria Steinem