Why Do I Write?

7:00 AM


*returns from hiatus with a bang*



I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Because as much fun as writing is, and as much as a lot of it could be boiled down to the thrill of words and characters and stories all my own, writing is something I put a lot of time into. I've very much been thinking about how it could someday be my career, or at the very least a big part of my life. I'm pretty dang sure this is one of the talents God has given me, and I intend to use it as best I can. So it comes down to figuring out why I write, and what I want to achieve with writing, and the purpose it serves for me.

Which is kind of scary.

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So why am I writing? 

Because I can. Okay, that's kind of a lame reason. But still. I still kind of suck but I'm not a bad writer (I'm finally at a place where I can say that without weeping and/or laughing at myself), I'm not running out of story ideas, I love love love the characters and stories I've welcomed into my head and through my fingertips, and I just...can. Writing is one of the few things that comes naturally to me and is only a normal amount of awkward. So why not? 

Because I think I have stories to tell. "Well, duh, Aimee," you say. "Obviously you do. You only shut up about them never." But I guess there's a difference between forcing myself to have ideas and then having things that come naturally? I have a whole post I'm preparing detailing some of my most favorite future projects. Some of them, I believe, are really important, even if they're only important to me. Writing is how I process things and get emotions. I write because I want to get these things out, for various reasons, and I can't do that if I just stare at the screen. 


I want to help people. I've read several books that have influenced my life and meant a lot to me. I don't have schizophrenia, but Challenger Deep hit me at a time when anxiety felt kind of overwhelming and life-consuming and gave me perspective and encouragement. That book is pretty important to me. I can write (definitely not as well as Neal Shusterman, but whatever) and I have emotions and experiences and thoughts that definitely aren't a feeling unique to just me. I'm in a position where I can write about those things, and write about them in a way that just might be able to touch someone. That's important, and the main thing I want to do with my writing. It's also a good reason not to give up. 



Because I want to make people think. I love thinking books. Books that aren't just fluffy and read for fun, but that give you an insight into life and make you think about things. (this is why I absolutely adore the classics.) I don't think a book has to have complicated sentences or sprawling plots to do that, either. I'm not trying to write a classic (although how cool would that be), but I do want to make people think about what they're reading and what's being presented to them. Theme is important to me. 


Because I think we need more books about heroes. I've read a ton of YA books lately about protagonists who get dragged through the story, who don't really learn anything, who act awfully and don't care, who don't listen to anyone, who are stubborn and crass and rude. And okay, I'm all for flawed and complicated characters because people are messy. But I also think we need to read about more people who learn how to do good just for the sake of it, and are good and noble and respectful. More good role models, I guess? Messy people, real people, but good people in the end. *shrugs* 


I have lots of reasons for writing. They all come down to wanting to glorify and honor Christ with my talents because I think that's the ultimate thing in life, but those are some of the facets of it. I'm working on that -- identifying those things and making a conscious effort to put them into my writing, because those are some of the things that make my writing mine. 

Why do you write? 

33 comments

  1. -applauds- Well said!

    For me, one reason for writing is that it's a way of making things that interest me happen. Kind of like the "write what you want to read" thing. I'm super into fantasy and heroes and swords and despicable villains, and it's awesome to be able to actually create stories that have those things, and make it my own. It's kind of like this sense of control-- I can make whatever I want happen in my stories. Anything at all. If I watch a show or read a book and something happens that I don't like, I can just "change it" in my story. Even just the ability to write awesome books that also happen to be clean is wonderful. And when life is crazy and you feel like you have no control over any of it and you're just going to go insane, having complete authority over even just one thing, that virtually can't disappoint, is kind of a nice feeling. This isn't the ONLY reason I write, but when I think about it, it IS pretty important to me.

    I also write because my characters would slowly kill me from the inside if I didn't. Duh.

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    1. Ye, that's a big thing too! I used to kind of write and also spend a long time saying stuff like "I wish someone wrote something about so-and-so" and then I realized hey, I can totally be that someone and that voice. :)

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  2. This is wonderful. You inspire me a ton, you know.
    We really do need more books with good, old-fashioned heroes. They are painfully absent from our society right now, as are good books that make people think. Most of my favourite books are classics (and The Book Thief, which definitely counts as a classic in my mind) because they simply have more depth than most modern literature.
    I don't write. It's just not a thing I can do. I have ideas sometimes, sure, but I'm just not a writer. I do enjoy drawing, however, and I do it for a lot of the same reasons. Just because I can, and I'm not too bad at it (compared to most other things in life, that is), and because I want to glorify God with my abilities. It also helps me to process things and deal with life.
    So yeah.

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    1. Awwww thanks so much! <3 More and more I'm seeing protagonists who just aren't people I want to win in any way, which is tragic for me because I grew up on old heroes and modern heroes and learning that a protagonist should be someone I care about because they do the right thing. So I'm all for flawed protagonists, but I want to have a reason to care about them and that's a huge reason why I write the sorts of characters I do.

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  3. Apologies, my computer has struggles with comments. Hence the duplicates.

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    1. Haha, you're totally fine! My computer does that all the time too.

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  4. What a question, and it's actually something have never thought about in depth before. You have good reasons though, I hope you become a published author because I would love to read your stories. :D
    I write the things I can't say, that's one thing I guess. Things I can't deal with in life I tend to shove into a story. So I guess writing is my way of coping, it's also lots of fun too.

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    1. Awww thank you! It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately so naturally I decided to blog about it. :P I shove stuff into stories too and I can honestly say that's been huge in helping me figure stuff out.

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  5. Great post!
    As corny as it sounds, for me writing has been away of trying to give back--I've read so many wonderful stories that touched me and changed the way I looked at the world, and if my writing could one day do that for someone else...let's just say I'd be a happy camper. Plus, creating new characters and new worlds is always thrilling, no matter how hard it ends up being.

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    1. Oh, that makes perfect sense! I've been shaped by so many books even if they haven't changed my life or something like that, and I would love to give someone an experience like that in a way. So I steal elements from other books that are important to me and try to piece stories together with that and ugh, writing is just the best.

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  6. I, too, want to write stories that have weight. I don't have anything wrong with people who enjoy fluffy books that are just for fun, but they are just not my thing. I've always liked books that make me think and force me to look at things in different ways because I have all of these thoughts in my head and I like to be challenged in my thinking process. I guess that's why I write, too. It's to organize my thoughts and force myself to look at things in different ways and figure out what I really think and how I really see the world.

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    1. Heck, I read fluff books sometimes -- and there's nothing wrong with them, though they're not my thing all the time either. But I think we need more books that carry weight and have things to say.

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  7. You have this uncanny way of writing posts when I need to see them. Writing has been more of a struggle for me lately, mostly because I've hit that stage right now in my editing and writing why I wonder why I even bother writing or trying to fix this load of awfulness that no one cares about except me. And your post here really reminded me of *why* I write, why I chose and continue to do it even through all that hard stuff. Personally, writing is kind of an outlet for me, because I'm one of those people who bottle everything up. So writing kind of started as an outlet to let all that out without actually talking about it. Thanks for this post, really.

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    1. Thank youuuu! I've been in the same boat lately, hence thinking about this topic and trying to come back to what I really want to accomplish with my writing.

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  8. For me, it's always been about creating stories with a message. Of course I want to write a book with engaging characters, a good romance, and a well developed plot, but you're absolutely right: I want to make people think. I hope that when people read my writings, they can take something away from it and are inspired. I think writing is the gift that God gave me, and any gift He gives us should be used for Him.

    And If I didn't write, the characters in my head probably wouldn't shut up. XD

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    1. Making people think is a big one. I'm coming to the realization that I have a voice, even if it's not polished yet, and it's a unique one. No one else sees my side of things, not exactly the way I do. So I can pour that out into my writing and maybe make someone think in a different sort of way, which is the coolest thing ever.

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  9. This post! Yes!

    I've been thinking about this a lot too and how seriously I want to write. Career-wise, is this writing thing where I want to be?

    I love your reasons. Especially, the part about making people think. I hope my books always make people think. I don't exactly want to give them answers. But I want them to ask questions and be unafraid to ask hard questions and seek out answers.

    Also, I don't know what it is. But with idea I've ever had, I've always wanted the reader to come away with hope. Whether it's hope that they are not alone or that hard times do come to an end, or whatever. Hope is a big theme for me. Even if I don't give it a huge highlight in the book, I always want the readers to take some hope with them when they close the book.

    Also, I figure if I love these stories and characters so much, there must be someone in this huge wide world who will find joy in it too, right? If I can make one person sincerely smile once a day, I think I'd have gotten the hang of life. And this might sound really weird but. . . sometimes I feel like if anything I owe it to the characters to tell their story.

    Really, though it does all boil down to I want to honor God in all that I do. It's a talent He's given me and I want it to shine for Him.

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    1. "I don't exactly want to give them answers. But I want them to ask questions and be unafraid to ask hard questions and seek out answers." AMEN.

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  10. Wowowowow I miss writing sometimes. (Most of the time.) These were the reasons I wrote when I did, and the only reason I stopped was because it became a major source of negativity and self-hatred for me to draw from, and I felt like God was asking me to give it up so I could focus better on Him.

    I especially agree with the "Making people think" thing. I can hardly read YA anymore because it's too shallow or cliché. (However /classics/...)

    As always, you're super duper cool and it's really cool to see God work through writers.


    Sarah Clay
    www.knowingthepower.com

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    1. Ughhhh I really respect that decision of yours because it's super hard and hurts me to think about and I can't even imagine it, so that kind of faith is really inspiring to me. :) You're pretty darn cool, too!

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  11. This is a great post, and I love your reasons!
    I think the main reasons for me are that I just love writing, and it feels like it's the only thing I'm truly good at. I have other interests, like photography and art, but they don't really come naturally to me like writing has always done (and I have been writing stories ever since I was a kid).

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    1. Right? I can't do much else, so writing it is. xD

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  12. I love this post. Every single person has a unique perspective based on where they grew up and what experiences they have lived through. Nobody can write the same story. So we need each other to write stories so that we can learn form each others experience.

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    1. Yasssss. One of my favorite things about reading is seeing stuff through someone else's life and experiences, even if I don't agree with them. And the fact that I'm in a position where I'm able to write (not very well, but hey, I'm getting there) is super cool to me.

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  13. I write because characters and massive plot bunnies drag me down dark alleys screaming.

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    1. Plus, like you mentioned, it's my calling. God's special gift to me.

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    2. This is the very best reason of all. *nodnod*

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    3. The calling I hope, because being mauled by plot bunnies is not fun.

      Like Monty Python: I need the Holy Hand Grenade.

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  14. I pretty much agree with all your points. Yes to because I can, yes to because I have stories to tell, yes to helping people, yes to making people think, yes to more books about heroes. (I love heroes to read about, but I like writing about darker characters more, weirdly enough.) Those reasons and because I think my head would explode with all the stories crammed in together. I have to keep sane somehow, I suppose.

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    1. I can't even imagine what I would do if I couldn't write o.0 I'd lose it too.

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  15. *claps* I wholeheartedly agree! One the biggest reasons I write is to bring light to other people, to put good fiction out there. I'm working on a steampunk novel for CBA, because seriously the Christian market needs more steampunk. Great post!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. I think everything in general needs more steampunk, yup.

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  16. I hate this question because it has PLAGUED ME more or less FOREVER and it is nice that you have answers but I kind of DON'T. But I like your answers. I think helping people is the most compelling reason on your list, at least for me, because I think you're right: It is SO important. We have to reach out. Be good. Do such awesome things. Also, as someone who is taking her second philosophy class, simply thinking is so important, and it matters a lot to me, at least. *nods* You have a lot of good reasons to write!

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.