The question surfaced again over the holiday weekend. At a small gathering, I got reacquainted with a former teaching colleague. It had probably been 10 years since we last talked. The conversation eventually centered around “What have you been up to the last few years?”
I told her that for the past 2 1/2 years I have been writing, editing, and rewriting a middle grade story in my spare time She looked at me with her eyes widening and said, “The same one?” I shook my head and she laughed before saying, “Why? I could never stick to something like that for so long.”
I told her the path to publishing is a longer road than writing your initial draft. It is full of nights and mornings of rewrites, waiting weeks, sometimes months for critiques to come back, and lots of soul searching … Am I telling this story the best way possible?
She was impressed with my ability to stick to this project, but the conversation shifted to why do people write for a living or even a part time pursuit? Her answer was to publish and make money. I couldn’t disagree more with that being the main reason.
I write because I enjoy the writing process and have something to say. I like to watch as a normal paragraph gets changed and is transformed into words that demand to be noticed. There’s nothing better than a well told story. Sure, it is thrilling to hear comments from critiquers that something touched them in an emotional or humorous way and I do want my story to be read … but the process of reaching that plateau of excellence is very fulfilling, too. I was born to write, but the process of writing a novel has made me a writer.
Here is what others are saying about why they write:
And I especially like this last one: WHY DO I WRITE?