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Topic: Why do you write?

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Subject: Why do you write?
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 23
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I originally joined to swap books because I read a lot.  However, I got to purusing the forums and ran across the writing forum.  I have been lurking here about a week. 

I don't have any writing experience except a few stories I wrote in Middle and High School for English class.  I read about a novel a week.  A really good book; I look at it and say to myself: "That's freaking awesome!  How did they do that?  I want to try my hand at that!"  So for a few years I read a couple "How To Write" books.

Then I started working a job that required 70 hours a week out of me.  Reading, much less attempting to write went out the window.  i quit that job about a year ago and found a more family freindly, better quality of life type job.

Like a lot of you; I have this idea for a novel, and want to get serious about writing it.  The previous threads have been very helpful and I've picked out a few web sites to go over.

My biggest question is why do you write?  To express yourself? Becuase it's your job? Because you're trying to be famous?  What sustains you through the hundreds of hours you commit to your craft?

I've rambled enough.  I'm going to get to work on some character developement.


Date Posted: 12/17/2008 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,639
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Hi Lee,

I plain just always wanted to write for only one reason...someone would read it and enjoy it. More than most, books are my outlet, and I would love to do that for others. If I ever finish my book, self-publishing is the route for me; I have no desire to be famous. Money would be nice--then I could spend more time writing and learning.  Good luck.   Roni

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Basically to hear someone else snicker at the funny bits or groan or cry when something goes bad.. I guess I write to make other people go on a journey of my choosing.

Plus I just love the feeling I get when I am writing, I cant sit still, I want to do a hundred other things then writing but as soon as I do get up I sit back down and start writing even more :)

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 123
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I write for two reasons.

One is just because I absolutely love to. My grandfather writes, and my father writes, and so it's in my blood. I love the way words sound--how sometimes they fit just right, and sometimes it's like trying to wedge a puzzle piece into the wrong space. I love stories, and how they twist and turn, and I love characterization. Having people that are mine only--exactly the way I want them to be.


The second reason is because in my opinion there is so much trash out there--whether it is bad writing, or bad characterization, or bad storytelling--or all of the stuff that is just inappropriate. My standards are high, so I want to provide something for the others who yearn for quality like I do--and even if they don't know the difference, maybe contrast will bring something to readers.

Famous? Not really--I use a pseudonym. But I guess I sort of want my book to be famous, because I want to write a good book. Does that make sense?


That is why I write.


Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I write pretty much for all the same reasons already stated... I don't necessarily want to be famous, although it would be nice to have a book published that people will enjoy for years to come.  (And I agree with Veronica... getting enough money to quit my job and write full time would be nice.  Actually, while I'm wishing, winning the lottery and becoming financially independent so that it wouldn't matter if my books ever sold or not!  I could just write what I want to write and if no one bought it, well... that would be a bummer but at least I wouldn't have to worry about getting food on the table or anything!  Now that would be the life!)

The thing that attracts me to writing is character creation and sticking them in situations they have to resolve, and seeing how they react.  Putting my character friends through various degrees of joy and misery is as fun a way to spend my spare time as anything!

Subject: Why do I write?
Date Posted: 12/31/2008 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2008
Posts: 32
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Because it hurts too much NOT to!



Subject: Why do I write?
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
Posts: 1
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Writing gives me the opportunity to research subjects that I know very little about. For example, if I am writing a short story with a scene that touches on Japanese culture, I take the opportunity to learn all I can about the subject. I am absolutely fascinated with putting pen to paper and letting your ideas flow.



Last Edited on: 1/1/09 10:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 3
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Great topic! I agree with all of the replies posted so far. Being a writer myself, I can say that there's a couple of reasons why I write.

First, I do write because it's therapeutic. It's almost as if th epen becomes an extension of yourself, and you're just being witness to the words flowing out onto the page.

The second reason why I write, though, is because it feels as if I'm giving the reader a gift. I published my own magazine during high school, and some of my favorite memories are of the times I took each issue of my magazine to school and passed it out. Words really can't describe how great it feels to watch a small class of students enjoying what you produced!

So, that, in short, is why I enjoy writing.


Date Posted: 1/21/2009 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2008
Posts: 232
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I write because I've always told stories -- often just in my head -- and because one day a former coworker told me I should write down the stories I told them.

So far, what I've published online has been fanfic. I've written quite a few pieces, three of which are novel-length. Most of my pieces have gotten a lot of feedback, most of it positive but some of it so negative I think the posters need to get therapy. LOL I even had a couple of cyber stalkers bec they hated my one story so much. Sheesh, people.

I enjoy the feedback, but I get as much of a thrill out of seeing each finished piece on the screen. And ironically, the pieces I think are the best often get little feedback while the pieces I just 'hacked' out got a ton of positive feedback, so go figure.

Like many of you, I do have some ideas for my own novels and I've been working on three separate pieces for a while now. I admit that what is holding me back is the fear of rejection.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 3:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I think I can best answer this question with poem I wrote quite a few years ago.  It was written in response to a fellow poet who was shocked to learn that I was male and wrote poetry.  :D

Here's the poem:

I Know

I know how it feels
to suddenly come
from the darkness
into the light

I know how it feels
to discover someone
whose smile fills
my heart with delight

I know how it feels
to take hold of a hand
on a stroll in
the soft moonlight

I know how it feels
to reach for a star
that shines with
promise so bright

I know how it feels
to be lifted by love
and soar like an
eagle in flight

I know how it feels
to wake from a dream
then hold you
warm in the night

I know how it feels
to soothe away fears
of a child who's
had a bad fright

I know how it feels
to hold back the tears
when you know you just
did what was right

I know how it feels
to swallow your fear
and not run away
from a fight

I know how it feels
to look back on years
and friends no
longer in sight

I know how it feels
to fail though you try,
though you try with
all of your might

I know how it feels
to feel all of these things
and these are the
reasons I write

© 1999 by B.W. Behling


Date Posted: 1/27/2009 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,639
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I'm not a big poetry fan, but I loved that.  My cat hasn't learned to read yet either, but he's as dumb as a rock.  I don't think it will ever happen.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Thank you Roni.


As Hemmingway once said, "It's easy to be a writer.  Just open a vein and bleed on paper."


Date Posted: 2/11/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I often write to work out some personal problem or issue I'm dealing with.  It started with keeping a journal, then poetry.  It somehow seemed to minimize my problems if I could put them down on paper.  Made them more objective, somehow.  Lately, I've been writing some short stories. Doesn't always help me arrive at a solution, but makes me feel a little better, I suppose.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I write for myself, honestly.  Do you know about Don Pendleton's Executioner series?  He's the king of the hack adventure writers, and I think his writing is awful, but I read a blurb about why he wrote...he did it for himself, because he liked the stories, and was glad others read them, but he'd write them anyway.  I feel the same way.  If I can ever write something someone else finds enjoyable (or saleable, ha!) great, but really...I write for myself. 

I didn't get into it until a couple of years ago.  I've always had a great imagination, and I was pretty good at writing for college papers...but it took me a while to connect the two and realize that all the adventures and fantasies floating arond in my skull might be something I could put on paper (well, word processor). 

I found out something else: I am never bored.  If I am stuck somewhere with nothing else to do, I can work out plot lines and scenes in my head.  It's a new world of creativity opened to me! :-p

Subject: C ompulsion
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2006
Posts: 26
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Why do I write? I often wonder. I agree with it hurts to much not to...but sometimes it hurts to much too. It's like I've always written, I don't necessarily enjoy it but for me it's like breathing it's just something I do.

My background is in journalism, but trying to work on a couple of children's stories because for some reason if you write people always say "are you working on a book" like that's the on ly kind of writing there is. I never wanted to write a book unless it was a book of essays or something. However I decided to challenge myself and try. I have two novels or children's stories not sure what they are really..., that are about three quarters done.

Somewhere I have an article about this I wrote as an oped piece when I worked at a weekly paper.

I had pretty much put my writing on hold when my kids were small because even if it was a journal entry it could end up taking half a day or something while I just spilled words on to the paper. I was afraid that I would let them starve or something.

Since I've been in novel mode..., I write myself into exhaustion and then I sleep an hour or two and get up and write some more. I've been trying the Book in a Month method thought it might work with my journalism trained mind. Also hopefully the family won't starve in a month LOL!

Anyway just some random thoughts. For me though I am the opposit of many of the people here. I have the audience in mind when I write like I am having a converstaion with them almost. However, I hate to think about people reading what I write, and more than that I hate it when they talk to me about what I have written. It's like standing in front of that 350% mirror on the show "What Not to Wear" my innermost soul is exposed . I have never really recieved anything but good comments, but I still hate it.

Hopefully my family will be able to publish my journals and crap after I'm dead and make a lot of money that way I don't have to think about people reading what I've written or wanting to discuss it with me.

I would love to be able to write a bestseller and suport my family with my addiction..., but then I think about promoting that book and I just wanna' puke.

Just for the record though I'm not a shy person, I'm the 4-H leader, on the School board, volunteer lots just my writing makes me uncomfortable. Weird huh!


Date Posted: 2/18/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 4,868
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I'm a professional writer (meaning I guess, that I make $$ at it), and I started writing because I love to write and it was a way I could make money while working at home.

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2006
Posts: 6,234
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Because there are people wreaking havoc inside my head until I write them out!

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 1
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I've always wanted to write.  I've wanted to see my words in print.  Only recently did I follow through with that dream and begin my own story.  It's what I like, what others see to enjoy and I'm hoping when it's done that I'll have a great little book. 

I have to share the thoughts and emotions in my head with others.

I write because I have to.

Date Posted: 2/21/2009 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2009
Posts: 10,656
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I write because I can't NOT write.

Date Posted: 2/22/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 2,358
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I write because that's when I feel alive the most.  There's nothing like sitting down to a blank sheet of paper and filling it up with a story that is uniquely yours. :) 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2009
Posts: 273
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I write because I find it gets my point across so much clearer than when I try to speak. I find the writen word transends the usual boundaries of culture and experience and allows a connection with the reader that is much firmer than any lectures could be. I also write because its a wonderful relief to get everything in my head out into the open, and it helps me organize my thoughts and feelings.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 8
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Date Posted: 3/2/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 8
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Date Posted: 3/2/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 8
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Date Posted: 3/2/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 8
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Last Edited on: 3/2/09 6:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1