Why Do You Write?

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:


One of the most important things that I have learned over the many years of writing, reading, researching, and reviewing is this – as a writer, you need to know why you write and what your goals are.

I can already hear people saying “I write because I love it”. Well yes, but why do you love it? Really dig deep and ask why you write. I feel that this is a very important question for all writers to ask themselves. It is the reason why we keep going when the critiques come in, when the rejection letters pile up, and when rewrite number seven still isn’t good enough.

I was asked this question a few months ago in a workshop I joined. As you can see, it ended up being a pretty long answer.

I write because it frees me. In the worlds that I create, I can be myself without being judged for my past or present. I can just be. That is why I choose to write in the fantasy genre, especially with my novels. I get to make all the rules. I can get lost in the worlds of my novels, away from the stresses of life. It’s my escape.

When I was young, writing poetry was a way to express myself. A way to say what I really felt inside. I was a painfully shy child and I had trouble talking to people easily. So I wrote my words down. That was before my battle with drug addiction and alcohol took hold. I did not stop writing entirely during those years, but anyone reading my work, could definitely tell the difference. Every thing started to take on a darker view, more twisted and scary almost. The few poems or stories I did write during that time all had a dark cloud in there somewhere, like the words themselves radiated anger and pain right off the page.

Now that I am clean and sober, I write as a means of soul-searching. I always put a piece of myself into the characters I create and during their journey in the story, it is as if I am also discovering a part of myself. Something connects with me and a light bulb goes off – that “ah-ha” moment – and suddenly everything makes sense. Often times my “writer’s block” is because the story has taken a turn that will force me to look at a side of myself that I might not want to. But once I get past it, and get the words out on paper, I feel so much better. The world looks brighter and it’s like I can breathe again. The last three years of sobriety have been one learning experience after another, as I learn to actually life again, instead of just existing.

So why am I a writer? Because that is where I find myself.

But what about you? Why do you write? The real, deep down, true reason. I challenge you to discover this about yourself. You might even want to write a blog post about it! At the very least, I recommend you type it up, print it out and hang it next to your writing area. Look at it whenever you get discouraged and remember why you chose this career. Mail it to yourself! Whatever it takes for you to remember why you write during the hard times.

5 Responses to "Why Do You Write?"

C.J. Ellisson Says :
August 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Well done.

Why do I write?

It started as one of the few things I could do when I was really sick to help keep my sanity. Now, it has become a beast of it's own and I'm loving the wild ride. I've channeled my energy into wholeheartedly, learning as much as I can and meeting fabulous people along the way.

Why do I continue to write?

I've got a handle on the worst of my health issues now, although I'm not back to normal yet. Now I write full time in the hopes of making this a real paying career.

With friends like you, I don't plan to give up anytime soon.

Cheers!

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
August 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Awww thanks CJ! You and JD and many other of my writer friends definitely keep me going when even the words I posted here don't keep me moving forward with my goals. This is a hard business and we writers need all the support we can get.

The Alliterative Allomorph Says :
August 26, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Hmm, well, I write because if I didn't I don't think I'd be able to control my emotions. It's an outlet for me, I suppose.

Don’t forget about my CONTEST!

James Garcia Jr Says :
August 26, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Hello, my friend.
I should take your advice and write out a much longer answer to this question, just in case I ever begin to feel like giving it all up. I don't think I would, actually, after having this wonderful opportunity to be a writer so late in life. I'm only 41; I'm referring to raising my boys and having been married over twenty years already. Typically folks start writing at the beginning of their life-in their twenties.
Anyway, I started writing in my youth because I seemed to have a creative gift for stories. I'm writing now because I have been given a fantastic opportunity to have a second chance.
Thanks for asking.
Take care...
-Jimmy

Anthony J Langford Says :
August 28, 2010 at 5:41 AM

It is a good question. I'll have to go away and think about it.

It's more of a case, 'because I have to.' it doesnt feel like there is much choice. Sometimes words and ideas just pop into my head for no reason, and I feel the need to put them to paper. I don't think it terms of goals or why. I mean, I'd like to be published. I've had stories published and I've been writing since I was a kid, but if my novels never see the light of day, I'll probably still write them.

Perhaps there's stuff I need to get out. I dont know.

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