Why Do You Write What You Write?

I would imagine it’s moderately safe to say that the majority of writers write because it’s something they enjoy doing.

But why do you write what you write?

I have no doubts that this can be the same reason.  You simply enjoy writing… whatever genres/topics/subjects you write.  And that’s awesome, and a valid reason in and of itself.

But does anyone else have other reasons for writing what you write?

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy writing the majority of what I write.  I love to write about people, and personalities, and relationships; I love to write about real life.  But I also write things that I dislike writing about; I sometimes write characters that I despise, and scenes that turn my stomach.  Why?

Because I am compelled to write the stories that people need to hear but often don’t.  I’m compelled to write the stories that must be told, that my characters need to tell, and that people need to know about.  And often these stories have unpleasant aspects, and scenes that are difficult to read.  But that’s exactly why they must be told; because these characters are not the only ones who have stories like theirs to tell.  There are people everywhere who experience what my characters experience, and their stories need to be told.  They need to know they are not alone.  Others need to know that these things happen – they might even happen to someone you know.

And most importantly, thousands – maybe millions – often suffer in silence.  They need to be given a voice.  And they need to know, through the voices of my characters, that they do not need to be silenced.  Their stories do not need to be kept secret, as they have been brainwashed to believe.  Others can read stories similar to theirs, and understand that these stories are real, one way or another.  By giving voice to my characters, by allowing others to read their stories, I hope to somehow give hope and courage to people in real life who may suffer in silence, afraid or embarrassed or ashamed to speak out.

4 comments for “Why Do You Write What You Write?

  1. Gerri Wright
    August 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Your reason for writing reminds me of some lines from W.H. Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939.
    “All I have is a voice
    to undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    And no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    to the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.”

    My reason for writing what I write is to smuggle light, hope, love, and faith into the darkness of the lives of readers, through the medium of story.

    • August 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      I love that poem! And I love your reason for writing. Thank you for contributing your light to a world that is in so many ways dark.

  2. August 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Very well said!

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