We write for many reasons, and have our own particular motivations for bothering to do so, and for persisting. Our reasons will of course be as individual as we are, but will have been chosen from a common palate of colours and impulses that drive writers forward to create with words.
It may seem strange, that having written three books – and now writing three more – numerous short stories, a radio play, flash fiction, letters and articles, only now am I pondering why we write. I would like to flesh out my curiosity with something tangible, so have written this series of articles exploring what impels us to commit words to the page, considering what motivates us to write journals or blogs, short stories, and so on.
Writing within each genre, we will be impelled by different impulses which might prove helpful to explore, if only to reassure us that all writing is a worthwhile, valuable thing to be engaged in. Those of us with artistic leanings seem to be less inclined to take our creativity seriously than, say, an accountant or a physics teacher; and women writers, in particular, may have been brought up to be polite and self-effacing, so that, taking their writing seriously or to the next level is regarded as self-indulgent or un-necessary, further bolstering the old world view that getting carried away would be undignified.
When the other calls upon our time grow insistent, offering practical reasons to persist may helpfully reinforce our determination to scribble or engage with other writers on-line when most sensible people are asleep or out earning the daily crust.
There will be occasions when we cannot recall why we are bothering; and at other times we have no desire whatever to write another word, ever. We may hanker for the day when we might expect to enjoy ‘normal’ lives like other people, untrammelled with the constant discipline of scratching the writing itch. And there are thousands of people who are only too willing to look at all our writing and say, wryly, “What makes you think you should be doing this? Don’t you think it’s time to get a ‘real’ job?” Cynics are mostly fearful for us. Suspecting that their concern is for our best interests, we can listen gently without taking their advice too much to heart. Even so, some practical reasons may help to refute well-meant advice which suggests that we should be getting back to ordinary living and rejoin the rest of the world.
Until next time, thanks for reading.