Why do I write?
This is a question I think about a lot because there are so many reasons I write. I write because it makes me feel good. I write because I like telling stories. But even those answers barely scratch the surface. The real reason I write isn’t something I can explain with poetic words and stuff into a pretty little box. The reason I write is messy and raw and honest.
But two years ago, when I first posted a variation of this on my private, personal blog…I started to make sense of the messiness.
I write because it’s a way for me to touch people.
Writing is a very raw form of communicating and, in my opinion, it’s one of the most precious. Putting your pen to the paper and allowing the ink to flow freely is like breaking down a wall and letting people see the real you. Typing words that form sentences that form paragraphs that form chapters that form stories is like giving yourself permission to bleed onto the typewriter because you truly believe with every fiber of your being that someday, somehow, your story will mean something to someone.
Telling the story that’s been put on your heart and mind and translating it onto paper for the sole purpose of getting it out of your head and onto a physical anything is impossible to explain because it’s something that only a true writer understands; it’s something that only someone with a passion for writing can comprehend and experience first-hand.
And for those who know what I’m talking about, you know that part of why we suffer through millions of sleepless nights and bad drafts is because we want to touch people. We want to make an impact. We want to touch someone’s life the way our favorite authors touched ours. We hope that, by pouring our heart and souls into hundreds of pages of words and dreams that maybe, just maybe, we can touch the heart and soul of a single person.
Because for us…that would be enough.
I write because I know that I’m the only person who can tell the story that I’ve fallen in love with in my mind.
Only I can write the story that God has placed on my heart. No one else could ever capture the setting or characters or plot or themes or essence…like I can. No one could ever understand the story that’s wedged itself inside my brain and won’t leave me alone until I get it down on the paper. No one can ever write the story that’s inside my head.
I’m the only one who can do it. And I don’t care if people say that I’m doing it wrong that I’m a horrible writer. I don’t care if people try to convince me to stop writing because it’s not what I’m good at or I’m doing it all wrong.
I don’t care because I know that this is what God wants me to be doing. Maybe being an author isn’t what He wants me to do forever, but it’s what He wants me to be doing right now. And for now, that’s enough.
I write because I want to create something that makes people feel.
I cry…a lot…over everything. I cry while watching romance movies, while listening to instrumental music, and especially while reading novels. I cry over fictitious stories. I cry over the lives and deaths of fictional characters who fought and lived and loved and bled and breathed.
But I’m not ashamed of crying about fiction because that means the author did their job…that the musician accomplished something greater…that the movie director created something meaningful.
If something fictional makes me cry, it means the story made me feel…and those are the stories I love the most. If I cry when a fictional character dies, it means I connected with them, that I understood and bonded with them. It means that somehow, this character made an impact on my heart and my soul and my life.
It means I felt something.
It means that they made me feel something, whether it’s sadness, joy, pain, happiness, or whatever is irrelevant. It means this story made me feel, and even though some people won’t understand why…it still means something to me.
So if I can sit in a theater and ugly cry for an hour over a story that isn’t even real…that’s how I know it’s a good story. That’s how I know it’s a story that’s important because regardless of what anyone else says about it, I will always know that it impacted and changed me.
It made me feel something that other stories didn’t.
And that’s what I strive to make people feel with my writing.
I write because stories are powerful.
Stories are so much more powerful than people think.
Stories have the power to mean something to people.
Stories have the power to change people and give them hope and make them feel things that they didn’t know they could feel anymore. Stories have the power to help people see that while evil still exists, so does good and as long as we cling to that goodness, the evil simply cannot win.
I write because it’s something God has given me a passion for.
Writing was not something I liked doing for most of my life. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that God changed my heart. He opened a door for me to explore writing in a new way and my life has never been the same.
And I don’t take that for granted.
Not everyone has the opportunity to sit down and type at a computer. Not everyone has the chance to put a pen to paper for hours or even minutes at a time. Not everyone has the priceless and precious freedom to tell stories and create entire worlds and build characters and put them all on paper.
I am so so incredibly grateful that I can even sit here and type this blog post! There are so many people who can’t even find access to a pencil or a paintbrush or a musical instrument or any of the things that we so very often take for granted.
I don’t deserve the right to create stories.
I don’t deserve the right to create music.
I don’t deserve the right to create, period.
Creating is not a right, it’s a privilege, and it’s something that God has given me to use for His ultimate glory.
I write because I believe that my stories matter.
This may sound silly, but let me ask you a question: Would you want to read a book by an author who didn’t believe in it?
I wouldn’t because an author has to believe in the story they’re creating. If the author doesn’t believe in their story, then how is the reader supposed to believe in it?
I believe the story ideas in my head have the potential to change people. I believe that the first draft novella I wrote during NaNoWriMo of 2017 has the potential to really matter to someone, someday. I believe that the unpublished and unedited story plots in my head actually have the power to impact people.
I believe that my stories can matter, do matter, and will matter.
Why do you write? What inspires you to keep writing when things are hard and motivation is hard to find? What author helped you discover your love of stories?