Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Do You Write?

My reply earlier to Wanda under the You Know What's Cool? post poses a question we've (Ken and I) asked and been asked, whether by members of our writer's critique group, readers of our work (yes, believe it or not, they're out there), librarians, teachers, etc. It's an age-old question, to be sure, but it's never really that old.

Why do you write?

or, similarly

For whom do you write?

At one time, I thought the answer to the first question was: because I have to. That's not really the case, though, if I want to be honest. For others, maybe, but not me. Time and life shot holes through the sack in which I held that answer. My answer to the second question is: it depends.

The answers are going to differ for individuals, because we're just that, and in my opinion, there's not a wrong answer. There's only a right answer for you.

Right now, as far as blogging, I'm writing -- so far as I can tell -- for four people: Doug, Wanda, Kevin, and me. And, right now, that's good enough for me. Will it be tomorrow? Probably? Next week? Still probably. Two months from now... unless I'm really feeling the therapeutic vibe, I'm guessing not. I'm hoping for a wider audience, although I'm sure it'll still be a somewhat intimate and esoteric group. What that says about me, I'm not sure. One thing I am sure about is that blogging isn't just writing. Writing's a part of it, but in general, it seems more a sharing, at least for me. And then, the quick pat-on-the-back that even an average-to-above-average post, to generous crowds like the ones that have always inhabited the Realm, might elicit should never be underestimated. One of my tragic flaws is liking to be liked. Heck, you don't really even have to like me. Just blow a little smoke up around my hind parts, and I'm all smiles. Ah, now the secret's out. That's why I blog.

With novel writing, especially when I work with Ken, it's different. A lot different. For that, I write because I love the story we're telling, and that's really the only reason. When you invest the time and your self into a story, the story's the thing. And you -- and if you write with a partner, then the both of you -- have to be loving your creation, be more than satisfied with it, and throw yourself fully into it with only a passing regard at most as to how others are going to be struck by it. Plus, the story has a life of its own that is tough to describe, but it still has to be worked, molded, remolded over and over by its author(s) all the while weaving its own tapestry. It's work. It really is. It's the kind of work I want to do, though. And when it's complete and I love it, while I hope others will read and like the work, that really doesn't matter so much. Crown of the Summerhavens and Dorkman taught me that. With the literally dozens of people that have read the Crown manuscript and the hundreds that have read Dorkman, I know we always hoped (and still hope) for more. However, none of that matters in the end. The only thing that matters is that Ken and I love those works with a passion and think they're the goods. With The Legend Hunters (The Eyes of Nimrod) stuff were working on now, it's the same deal. So why do I write? That's why I write.

What about you? I'm wagering that everyone that comes to this site, whether past commenter or lurker (do we even have those here? methinks not), is likely a writer in some regard. So tell us. Why do you write? And for whom?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I write because my imagination has to have some kind of outlet. I hear things, I think of a story to go with it. I see things and my mind comes up with a whole scenario just waiting for its turn. And yes, I hope someday to have people buy my book and tell me how much they enjoyed it.

I think writers are born looking at the world in a different way. Whether we do something with that is up to us.

And I'm excited about the Legend Hunter stories, too. Can't wait to hear 'the rest of the story'.

WandaV

Anonymous said...

Do I get extra points for posting the first comment? ;-)

WV

Rich said...

How many points do you want, Wanda?

Done. :)

Anonymous said...

There are always lurkers.

Lurkers are those who never do and just watch. Sometimes entire lives are lived in that manner. But don't confuse doing nothing with the lack of output in one area: the manner of "doing" always changes with each person.

I'm glad you are writing again. The discipline of a blog can be a wicked task-master.

Why do we write? My opinion is that we write from personal boredom--our writing enriches our lives in a manner specific to each that nothing else will/can give us. Wanda says it is our personal outlet for those things in our head; I'm just going one step beyond that. It is our world view populated by people we'd like to enrich our personal world. We don't have to like these characters [especially the evil villains] but they enrich our lives in a way nothing else can. Perhaps boredom is not the correct word...but "need" falls way short.

[gosh, this is the most I've written in weeks!]
Dianne

Anonymous said...

Hi Dianne,

Aren't you out of town yet? ;-)

gosh, this is the most I've written in weeks! You mean you haven't finished "Pacing the Cage" yet? We're waiting, y'know.

WandaV

Rich said...

Why do we write? My opinion is that we write from personal boredom--our writing enriches our lives in a manner specific to each that nothing else will/can give us. Wanda says it is our personal outlet for those things in our head; I'm just going one step beyond that. It is our world view populated by people we'd like to enrich our personal world. We don't have to like these characters [especially the evil villains] but they enrich our lives in a way nothing else can. Perhaps boredom is not the correct word...but "need" falls way short.

That's great stuff, Dianne, especially the highlighted. For that, you get a:

B+

JOKING!!! That's "A+" material all the way.

DugALug said...

Why write?! I think I write for a lot of reasons:

1) I need an outlet. I probably think that I want to be heard, and it is personally satisfying to know that someone has read your content or article and has come to some conclusion.

2) I am trying to hash out things: seeing things in writing is a form a thinking. It helps me articulate what I really think, feel, or believe. Getting feedback is a bonus on this too.

3) I like to share information, and there are few better ways to share your ideas and information than the written word. Words have a permanence that other venues lack. Ironically (Rich can vouch for this), I hated school, but I love teaching... it is a conundrum.

4) I like sharing things that tickled me. If they brought me insight or just made me chuckle, isn't it worth sharing?

5) To me, blogging is a form of fellowship. It is not the same as personal interaction, but none-the-less it is fun to keep up with friends, share thoughts, or just embrace our commonality (or diversity).

6) I sometimes need to vent... writing is great outlet for this.

7) Lastly, I write because I can. What a blessing is it to be where I am free to write and as long as I have that right, I will thankfully write.

All that to say I hope this makes sense.

God Bless
Doug