Writing Wednesday: Why Do YOU Write?

Writing Wednesday:

Why Do YOU Write?

10.10.2012

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?

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Euterpe

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Prompt:

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.

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 Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I  should be doing something else.
– Gloria  Steinem

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3 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Why Do YOU Write?”

  1. I love your Writing Wednesday posts!!

    For me writing (letters, diary, even stories, school essays & thesis’ ) is…Well, I have need to do it. I have always needed to do it. And I have always loved books. I write, because I need to think, need to express myself and my thoughts, need to try to get better in it, need to find right words, need to find new ways of expressing things. (And it is way “easier” that talking or going on stage and act some role).

    Figuring out the storyline is a bit like watching a movie. You have people and you are eager to see what will happen to them, how they react on things, what do they see, feel…When writing, you can at the same time explore different works, environment, things you otherwise would not experience. You can act the roles (as if you try to write, you have to go into that character’s person, personality, thinking…), you can orchestrate things and happenings (is that playing God?! 😉 ), you can try different things and figure out what is the best way to say things or make things go on.

    I write because I have to. I have kind of inner need to do that. And most of the time I do enjoy writing (When I first get started…I hate blank, white paper! How can something so simple and beautiful be so challenging??!!) You might know the feeling?

    I write school stuff, because I am expected to do those, but also because I kind of enjoy writing them, even when it is boring, challenging etc. Letters, because I love to get to know other people from different cultures and learn new things and tell about my country and life here and share thoughts. Diary…WEll, I write it mainly when I am feeling down, so it is kind of therapy 🙂 And then stories…I dream of writing a novel. I seem to have so many different stories flying around my mind, little shorty pieces of stories pop-in to my reality at very unexpected moments, and at some moments I do really try to develop earlier ideas on my mind just to figure them out and try to find better ways to say them, to learn. And to get them written down one day. And finally, it is because I have need to write a good story, such that someone would enjoy reading. (And maybe also because I have never been a good writer, and I want to proof those people being wrong, who has suggested so…I included 😉 )

    Summarizing this all…Writing is a need, enjoyment, therapy, exploration. It’s about learning and doing something you love. And when succeeding in it, it is something that other people could enjoy too, when reading what you have written. (And to proof this all to myself…I got to get back to writing my master’s thesis 😉

    Have a nice day!

  2. 🙂 Great question. Sometimes I try to focus on Reasons to Finish Something, like… sellable goods, a chance to collect refusals, etc. But that never motivates me to write, for some odd reason. I’m not sure exactly WHY I write… I’ll have to think about that a bit!!

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