I asked myself a good question the other day. Why do you write. What makes you do it? Any reasons (other than income)? I write because I feel I have a gift to share with the world, and to you get all these worlds out of my head. After all, I thought of Journey to the Lost Universe when I was 13 years old (i'm 24 now). It was meant to be a video game then and I eventually converted it over to novel format. It actually got to the point to where that's all I would think about during class haha.
Yes, I would love to make it a career, so I suppose when the alarm goes off before the sun comes up I would point to that as my reason, but barring that I'd have to say because it's about the only holdover from career day.
I wrote and almost finished a choose your own adventure book when I was 11. I should have just read and enjoyed them, and I suppose I did, but for whatever reason simply reading them was not good enough. I had to write one as well.
That feeling hasn't ever gone away.
Life and video games and college and work and kids have all been thrown in my path as writing killing distractions - and I must admit it's the damn video games that have done the most damage - but here I am still plugging away a few words/paragraphs/pages at a time in order to complete some stories that I hope will one day see the world, and vice versa.
I know that story all too well, though getting married and having kids have weaned me down to just a few hours a week of gaming.
I write, when you come down to the very essence of it, because it gives me a rush of adrenaline. You know the feeling when you are 'in the zone' when writing.
There are many other reasons. It is an outlet for my imagination. I'm a person who lives more inside of my head than outside of it. So bringing those worlds and ideas out a necessary outlet. Yes, I'd also love to make a full-time career out of it, to spend my working hours doing something I love. That aspect motivates me to write when I'm not in the mood to do it.
[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited May 01, 2011).]
I think to me it is the thought of creating people and worlds from nothing. I have a rather boring job where I get a lot of time on my own and I started creating scenes and characters to while away the time without ever setting anything down on paper until I finally hit 25 and thought I'm not getting an younger and if I don't write that book now I never will.
The thought of actually having a book written by myself with a beginning a middle and an end is great. I think it's more a personal goal to create this thing and to have these things I've seen in my minds eye down in black and white and to be personally happy with them--that's what I really want to achieve.
It started out as..."look at all those cool science fictions stories by all those cool writers...I wanna be one of 'em...I wanna get published and see my name among theirs."
It started that way. Right now it continues out of inertia...most of the writers I wanted to be published among have departed, died or moved on to other things or just not publishing anymore...I've grown seriously disillusioned with the process itself...I found I got a more lively response writing Internet Fan Fiction than from anything I've sent in to an SF market...I don't even read much SF these days, but can't find some other field to concentrate my efforts on...
Ah, well. "There never was much hope," as Gandalf said, at least in the movie version.
I love words and stories, stories and words. I've always been a spinner of stories and usually manage to keep those around me entertained. I also love the rhythm and the melody of well-written prose. In the few times I've completed a story it has been well-received by my peers though I've never attempted to publish my writing outside of local contests.
I also have a strong entrepreneural spirit and once I hone my craft I believe I can do an excellent job of self-promotion and epublishing along the lines of Joe Konrath. I've worked at a large advertising/marketing agency for the past four years and have learned a lot about self-promotion, and I've always been a salesman of one sort or another.
The trick for me is to learn the discipline to get from mere pretty words and interesting ideas to having a polished salable package. I'm still working through writing out my million words of garbage. I have one novel, two novellas, and a few short stories behind me. I'm forming a writing group with three other locals serious about learning the craft and hopefully that will bear some fruit.
I write because I enjoy it -- works the non-engineering side of my brain, as does music and art.
I see a couple of posts above regarding fanfic. I never understood it to be honest, although I heard an interview with a woman who wrote some stargate fanfic and was later commissioned to write novels in the stargate universe.
What would I even choose if I had to write in another universe? Stargate? Star wars?
Someone asked this on Yahoo Answers (which I, admittedly, frequent) and this was my answer:
It's like asking why athletes do sports, why painters paint, why musicians play, why dancers dance, why filmmakers make movies.
We do it because it enriches our own lives and the lives of those around us.
Humans are here on this earth to connect with each other, and we forge these connections in so many different ways. Writing has a unique ability to allow a person to empathize with aspects of humanity they haven't encountered before. Reading a story is like doing a "dress rehearsal" for life. By reading about the trials and tribulations of others, even if those "others" are fictional people, it encourages people to build their own sense of values and beliefs, opening their minds to lifestyles and mindsets that are wholly different than their own.
Very few people alive today have lived through ordeals as tragic and heartbreaking as The Holocaust, but by reading stories of this part of our history, whether they're fictional and non-fictional, we better understand the reality of things that took place, and will be more prepared to take action if history begins to repeat itself.
Even reading about a boy wizard—orphaned and alone learning how to stand up to evil and face trials with bravery—it forces readers to imagine who they are as a person, what they would do in the face of such trials. It's a kind of hypothetical self-examination, that's also entertaining and enlightening. People learn things about themselves when they read.
Writers write because they want to make those connections, they want to entertain and enlighten, they want to teach and they want to share. They want to change people, and change the world for the better.
I write because nobody has written the stories I wanted to read. The ones about a geeky girl who was good at stuff and had adventures and solved problems and was smart and cool and dorky and nice and confused and friendless and interesting and new around here and different and the same and interested in boys and uninterested in boys and...
I write for all the geeky cool girls out there, because I have their stories to tell.
* I can't make a living at it. * The likelihood of professional publication is miniscule. * I can't make or dedicate time to get better at it. * It detracts from my pleasures and necessities including reading, exercise, and time with my family--i.e. living life. * The quality of my writing is inconsistent.
I can only conclude that I write.... Because I'm stupid.
quote: That aspect motivates me to write when I'm not in the mood to do it
Well put Osiris.
Wonderbus - Finishing a book is a rush. It's a novel, and you wrote it, and it can't ever be taken away. From that point on, you're a novelist.
Natej - Did you enter the Warcraft writing contest?
quote:I write because nobody has written the stories I wanted to read
Good call KayTi. I'm not sure what the % is, but if I had to breakdown my answer, out of 100%, this would be in there somewhere. Although I wouldn't say no one writes the stories I want to read, I do sometimes get frustrated at what's out there and I KNOW I can do better.