Friday, June 11, 2010

Why do you write?

My sister asked me this on FB, and instead of adding it to the Q&A last week, I decided to write a whole post on it. Why do I write? That might be close to asking me why I breath... or why I talk... or something unavoidable and necessary. You might think talking isn't necessary and could be avoidable, but you would be wrong. Very wrong. ;-)

I can't remember not writing. My earliest memory of writing "books" was in second grade, when I wrote about premature babies and fun, lighthearted things like that. (I'm not even kidding. I have the notebook complete with the to-scale drawing of the preemie in it.) But, I'm sure I was telling stories even before I could finally write them down. They have always been a part of my life. There may be times when I don't get any ideas for a couple of months (or longer), and there are times when I have three ideas going at once. Sometimes something in my life triggers an idea, sometimes a character shows up in my mind and I just have to figure out what her (or his) story is. That was the case with my book that got my agent. Ethnie just showed up in my mind, when I was minding my own business working on a different book. A book that I love and adore and hope will someday see the light of day. Or a shelf. Or whatever. But that's another story. So, there I am sitting at my computer, revising YET AGAIN, and whammo! Here shows up Ethnie, with a story that was so intriguing and shocking I couldn't resist her. I hope at least one editor will agree, and that someday soon many people will get to find out what her story is.

So, for me, writing is just a part of who I am. It's my love, my passion, and my work. (I do have other loves, passions, and works though--which is good for my hubby, kids, and my sanity. I firmly believe as an author you must still LIVE life, if you want to write great stories. Yet again, that's another post altogether.)

So here's my question: why do YOU write? Or why haven't you started yet, if you want to? Or why do you read, if you don't write? In one way or another, writing and books are a huge part of most people's lives.

**And don't forget to enter the contest to win Stephenie Meyer's THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER - the contest closes at 11:59 pm MST on Sunday. :-) **


Cheyanne said...

I don't have a good answer as to why I write. Because I like it, I guess! I've had times in life where I'm too busy to write and will go a month or so without it, and it makes me miserable. I like to write, I NEED to write, I AM write. (Okay the last one didn't make any sense, lol)

My earliest memory, however, was in 4th grade. We had to write a 'tall tale' on computer paper cut in half and then tape them together top to bottom to make a tall story. Most kid's were 2-3 pages. Mine was ten. I still have it, :)

Melody said...

Well, the main reason I write is because I...can't stop. It's almost like withdrawls, honestly. It's something I have to do. Stories, and especially conversations, won't leave me alone. It's actually really annoying.

Carolyn V. said...

Love it! I write because I love it. I've always loved books and their words.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Why do I write... I guess there's not really one reason.
I'm not like you, writing stories when I was a kid. Really, I didn't even learn to read until I was six. (Which isn't all that late, but my brothers both read way before that.) It wasn't that I didn't understand when my mom tried to teach me to read, it's that I didn't want to learn.
I didn't read, but I lived in a fairyworld. I had dreams and daydreams about this world and others, and I dragged others into the dreams. My best friend at the time would spend hours setting up the premise for our imaginary game that day - I guess we never realized we were telling stories together.
When I did learn to read, I still didn't read all the time. I read more than my friends, but I kept up with my imagination. I still do. I started writing because my dreams got so vivid and intense (around seventh grade) that they had to go SOMEWHERE, because I wasn't being able to sleep through the night - I'd lay awake after a dream woke me, and think about for hours.
I guess ever since then I've just written. I love it. I won't stop. Sometimes I hate it. But I love words, and I love stories. I love the whole process. :)
Long answer, sorry! It's just a little confusing, becaue I don't have a straight answer, you know?

Theresa Milstein said...

It's great to read why you write. It's funny because I wrote a similar post yesterday, if you want to check it out:

Lindsay said...

Great post. I write because I love it. Because the stories in my head were sick of being ignored. I love the ability to use words to create an emotional response in others.
I just love it. :)

Melissa said...

I've always told stories. Since I was a little kid. I've always had one, and been really good at telling them (or so people close to me say). The first story I ever wrote was about a Mouse that saved the world (wishful thinking because my nickname as a child was Melissa Mouse).

Why I write now though? It's the only way I can sort out my emotions. It's how I ground myself. How I understand myself and things that have happened to me and to my friends. It's the only way I can be at peace. It's a necessity.

Whether or not I ever get and agent or ever get published, I'll never stop writing. I don't think it's possible for me too.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, I feel I'm not a "real" writer because if I quit tomorrow, I'll still be perfectly happy. Writing does not define my life the way it does others. However, I like it, and that's why i write. I write to get the stories in my head down onto paper. :)

Natalie said...

I'm always impressed with people who have been writing forever. You are a dedicated bunch.

I started writing a few years ago as a way to remind my stay-at-home-mom self that I still have a brain. Writing is a fun little escape from me and publishing is an exciting challenge. I write because it's an easy thing to do during those few free minutes during the day and because I love stories.