Why Do I Write? (IWSG November)

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. On the first Wednesday of every month we blog about writing, hoping to encourage others out there. You are not alone. This is what the IWSG is all about. Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group badge, with name of group on a background of a lighthouse.

The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria.

This month, we are exploring the following question:

Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”

Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.”

Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

Is it alright if I tell you I write because it makes me happy? Because that is my deepest motivation.

Someone said to me recently, that writing the second book in a series that hasn’t been ‘picked up yet’ is a time dump. My response? I’m not writing it for others. I’m writing it for me. Because I want to.

I can’t think of any better motivation.

As to why I write what I write – fiction, with a focus on science fiction and fantasy – I would describe it as those being my favourite genres to read as well. I’ve tried writing reality fiction, and whilst I’m not bad at it… somehow, magic always creeps in.

Why write about the mundane when the world of your imagination has so much more to give?

Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know.

Neil Gaiman

I could quote Neil Gaiman for days.

If you asked me, what’s the best thing about writing, I’d probably have to start with my setup.

I often have little or no plan other than a sentence or two of vague idea, an image in my head, and an end point I will probably aim for. There might be some key words, or theme, but my planning for stories is very slim on the board.

And yet.

As I write, the words flow. Worlds come to life. Characters stride onto the page and make themselves heard. The best feeling is when a new character walks into a room and decides to stay. When plot becomes secondary to the people, who decide to do something completely averse to my original plan. And I love when a setting and a story develops in my head, and I am able to show others what I’ve seen. Of course, Neil Gaiman says it better.

I didn’t think of myself as terribly creative before I started writing. But now I know that there are many, many ways to create. To breathe life into something that has not existed before, to give it your own voice, your own take.

I write because it brings me joy to create, and happiness to share my creations. Even if it’s only reading to my cats.

Two tabby cats looking at the camera, lying beneath a desk on a blue blanket
Neko and Loki, feet warmers extraordinaire

“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.”

Terry Pratchett

What about you? Why do you write what you write? I’d love to hear in the comments!

All the best for November, dear reader, and good luck for those participating in NaNoWriMo (I’m writing the second book of the Archivist series for it).

See you next time.

The IWSG Blog Hop

Click here to view the list of IWSG bloggers and check out what everyone else is saying this month!

14 thoughts on “Why Do I Write? (IWSG November)

    1. For sure. Of course, I like to share my writing as well, but it does take the pressure off a little to be satisfied at having created without a specific deadline or target. I hope that if I ever find myself writing only for targets without joy, that I’ll remember this and pause…

      Liked by 2 people

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