Why do people write?

Hello there readers.

As I was working through some general knowledge information for my upcoming classical piano exam and scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post in one of my writing groups asking why people write, and for us to offer up our reasons. This is a curious question that I suppose everyone has asked at some point, whether or not said person is a writer. After thinking about the question for a few moments, I wrote down “to go where I can’t” and ended it there.

But, after the thread got more comments all ranging in their answers from the sarcastic to the profoundly deep, it really got me thinking. Why do people write? What’s the point in it? I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. Before I could hold a pencil, I used to weave stories with my voice and my dreams. So for me, it’s always just been there. It’s only now that I’m actually working on something that I realise that part of it, for me at least, is driven by the need to explore. To let my imagination take flight and take me to places I literally cannot go. Whenever I work on Pirates of Time or any of my other pieces, I’m always struck by the need of my characters to move. To never be able to stay in one place for too long. Not only that, but the works are always set in some world that is not my own. Or, at least, one in the distant past.

For me, knowing this now is a very tangible thing. I’m a Type 1 diabetic, and as such my travel options are limited by regulations and international laws. The other piece to this puzzle is my younger self and her desire to one day become an astronaut and go to space, or become an archaeologist and explore the bowels of the planet. Of course I can’t do either of those things now, so I guess the answer to why I write is a yearning to travel. A yearning to see something new, to explore, and to possibly go somewhere nobody has gone before.

Practically speaking, people write for lots of reasons. To record their thoughts, keep track of money, make promises to one another, provide people with lists. Some of the earliest forms of writing – cuneiform – date back to 3000 BCE on clay tablets. Creative writing has a whole other background and purpose. Some people think they’re born to be writers. For others, its a career. Or an emotional outlet, a way to process their feelings and give them form and substance. George Orwell thinks its down to egotism and a desire to be talked about (http://thewritepractice.com/why-we-write/), more commonly known as fame. Others, like JK Rowling, wrote because she had an idea and she needed a way to both get money and to deal with emotional and financial pressure.

There are many reasons why people write then, I suppose. As writers then, we have to find our own purpose and stick to that. Use it to drive us through our darkest hours and to help us when our characters start revolting because we haven’t paid them enough attention *cough cough*.

But, more than that, we have to hold onto our dreams and pursue them until we have achieved, or we can pursue no more. We have to believe in ourselves, believe that we can do it, and keep going.

Don’t stop reading, or writing, dear readers. I’ll be back soon.



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