Why do you write?

I wrote a similar blog post on July 9th, 2014, with the exact same title, but it seems like the right time to remind Authors of these thoughts of mine …)

Why do you write?

That’s a simple enough question, isn’t it? Why do you “create” could also be asked of all artists – musicians, visual, photographers, sculptors, authors … What is is that makes you want to create something? It’s a question every creator should ask themselves from time to time, but especially when they’re down, after having checked non-existent sales for the umpteenth time, or when reading lackluster reviews.

Why did you get into this in the first place?

If it was with a plan to write the next big bestseller and make untold fame and fortune then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell to you.

But if it was for the sheer joy of creating something, of using your imagination, or your experience or your skills, to form something tangible out of your vision … well, then! Now you see the ultimate value that no one – and I mean NO ONE! – can ever put a monetary value on or judge in any way to make you feel less than you should about realizing your dreams.

I’m asking this question, Why do you write?, because there are far too many authors out there who are agonizing over the $$$ (or £££ or €€€) and the numbers of copies sold and not considering what it is about writing and creating that got them into this in the first place.

And it all had me remembering a song written by Michael Burton, Night Rider’s Lament. The chorus pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say here … (Lyrics)

Here is my Calgary pal, Tom Phillips, accompanied by Shaye Zadravec (with the very talented Mr. Dwight Thompson on guitar in the background!), instead. Great song! And there’s a bonus – Tom yodels, too …

So … don’t tell me why you write. But be sure to tell yourself – over, and over, and over again.

7 responses

  1. I write because I love it. Sure, there was once a time I thought I’d make a living writing books, but as it stands right now, I make more money in one day at the day job than I do from a month of book sales. I’m happy when someone reads one of my books and enjoys it. I love creating something I can share with others.

    Great post!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Tricia!

  2. I detect a change in motivation (not just my own but more generally) from $$ to getting one’s book read. Back in the day, a lot of writers really did seem to think they’d make a living at this. It was an unreasonable expectation, but they went in believing it.

    Now, most writers I talk to are fulfilled knowing that people are reading their work and appreciating it. And thanks to online reviews, we can see how readers are receiving what we write. It is fulfilling!

    Thanks for the reminder to focus on the important stuff…

    1. I’m sure you’re correct, Kevin. It’s important to me, too! Thanks for the comment.

  3. When you live in a society where people have only a 7 second attention span, the only way to tell your story, or any part of it, is to put it down on paper.

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