Why Do You Write?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? If not, take a minute and ask yourself now. Why do you write?

I don’t know if I had ever directly questioned why I write. I’ve only been writing [regularly] for fewer than three years. Still, that’s not an excuse for avoiding the analysis of something that takes up so much of my time, focus and energy. I think the question had pricked at the back of my mind off and on, but I just brushed it away like a nagging fly. Does Why matter that much? I need to get back to the What, don’t I? Stop theorizing about meta stuff and get back into the actual business of Writing.

Starting with WHY

But that all changed when I read a very inspirational post by Kevin Kaiser on Story Seller PRO. In fact, you should go there NOW. Read it. I’ll be here when you’re done.

No, seriously.

GO.

If you went, you saw that in the article, Kevin embedded a video from Simon Sinek about Starting with Why. That short clip blew my mind. (If you skipped over the video as I was tempted to do, go back NOW, watch it. Don’t skip that – it’s the meat of the matter.)

To summarize, the Why is not just important, it’s The Most Important. If you start with the What or even the How, you’re going at it all wrong. Start with Why and the rest will follow.

If you want to be a successful author, you have to get people on board with more than just your story. If you focus on What you’re selling, you can only get so far. If you focus on How you do it – experience, talent, creativity, etc. – you won’t get much further. Instead, focus on Why you write when you market your novel to others. It is the clincher that really sells. Starting with Why doesn’t sell your product, it sells You, which is what people really want to buy into anyway.

My Beliefs

Before I was even finished reading Kevin’s post, I started frantically jotting down my own Whys. Even after I had read it, the post and the video tunneled through my mind for a while, molding my perception of myself and my work.

For me, the answer to Why went a lot deeper than I imagined it would. I had to let it burrow through me until I finally got to the heart of the matter. Here’s what I discovered.

Why I write

I write because I believe that good fiction inspires, expands the imagination and enriches lives. I write because I want to touch others. I write because I believe that good books can change the world.

And related to that is…

Why I blog

I aim to help free others so that they can have the courage and determination to excel in their creative gifts.

I aim to support artists who fully dedicate their lives to their craft (whether through full-time or part-time hours), be it written, visual or other.

I aim to connect people with the true Source of creativity so that they might discover and excel in their individual callings.

While those ideas were underground in my head excavating my thought patterns, I ran into another wall. I forced myself to ask why creativity is so important to me. Without a doubt I know that I was created to create. But why am I so passionate about doing something original, something new? Not everyone feels the way that I do on the topic. My first instinct at the Why was this:

Following others is easy. Breaking away is difficult.

But that wasn’t enough. Just because something is difficult doesn’t necessarily make it better. So I dug deeper. Finally, I got to the root of the matter. This is what I believe about creativity:

Seeking creativity is important because it is how we broaden ourselves inwardly, find new solutions to old problems, and as a result, expand our ability to reach and help others.

The Root of the Matter

I realized that for me it all comes down to one thing: touching others. I want to change the world.

Why do you write? If you aren’t a writer, then why do you do whatever it is that you do?

You may also be interested in:

Entering the Underworld (or Facing Your Demons)

Why You Should Be a Peninsula

Share Yourself

4 thoughts on “Why Do You Write?

  • I write to satisfy my own imagination, escape the mundane, and to bring new stories to craving readers. If my writing touches the emotion of the reader, makes them laugh, or has them contemplate deeper meanings, then I will have made the most important connection – the human connection.

  • My reasons for writing are (I’m little embarrassed to say) probably driven by some sort of need to be validated, to feel “special” by creating something and having other people say, “I enjoyed that.” Of course, I also like the sense of accomplishment when I’ve finished something.

    • I think most if not all writers crave that validation from having someone read (and like!) our work. For myself, I had to analyze my own motivations, and that in itself wasn’t enough. Yes, I want to reach people, but in the end, even if they never get a chance to tell me what my work meant to them, the point is that it did. Knowing that I have the power to influence the world one word at a time is enough.

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