Why do I write?

Contrary to the emo way that you could read that title, this post won’t be about the futility of my pursuits, either in writing fiction or in writing blag posts.  Rather, I want to talk about why I write fiction; what are my motivations and goals?

Some friends of mine were talking about this a week or so ago, and it’s been resonating in me ever sense.  I don’t often stop to question my motivations in creative pursuits; I drawn to something, and I do it.  When I’m in the zone, working on a story, I don’t particularly care why I’m writing; that I’m writing is more than enough.

I think it’s in these lulls that it matters more.  I finished a first (or zeroth) draft on my NaNo work, and am getting ready to spring board into a stalled work in progress come January, possibly with some editing mixed in.  For now, though, I am letting my mind rest and my creative batteries recharge.  I’m an explosive writer; I will write nothing for two or three months, and then make up for it by writing ALL THE WORDS when I write again (50-100k is not unusual then, and I can do more).

I think it matters more in this pause because it helps bring me back to writing.  Some can write every day, and writing becomes a habit.  That’s awesome, but doesn’t work for me, at least right now, so I need something to draw myself back when I am ready to write another deluge of words.  Hence, roundaboutly, the reason for this blog post.

I write for an audience of one, that isn’t me.  I’m not sure how unusual of a writer this makes me; a lot of my writing friends write for themselves, to write what they want to read, but that’s never really worked for me.  I can tell myself these stories in my head; why bother writing it down, getting the characters write, spending laborious hours editing and revising, if it’s only for me?  I’m not that picky.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King says that writing is a form of telepathy.  It’s mind to mind contact, a sharing of thoughts through the medium of words.  The ideas that I have, the monsters that I see, the people that I get to know in my head, I can share with you.  I can share a little of my own private world with you, my own creations beamed directly into your skull.

Why wouldn’t I want to do that?

So that’s why I write; to share my world with an audience of one (that doesn’t currently exist).  I don’t, and won’t, write for my readers as a whole, but  I will write for each reader individually.  It’s that connection that drives me to keep coming back to writing, and to slog through the editing and improvement process, so that I can more clearly share my world with you, oh gentle reader.

And you (if you write), why do you do it?

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