Why I Write

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Hello!

Has it been a month already? Well I guess it has. Welcome back for another of my posts on Authors Speak.

Last month I rambled on a bit about why I write what I write. This month I’ve chosen a broader topic: Why I write.

I probably should have led with that, sorry.

So, let’s delve into what drives a person (me) to spend a part of everyday working on creating a story, the type of story doesn’t matter, it’s the act of writing that matters. There are a number of reasons people begin writing. Some write as a hobby or as a stress reliever. Therapists recommend writing as part of recovery for many people. It’s a way to get feelings out of your head. Once I read of a method that advocated writing down what’s bothering you on paper and then burn the paper to clear away negative emotions.

Others (me) begin as children, making up stories about the world around them. It’s a way of correcting something gone wrong or to further explore a favorite book or television show. I didn’t learn until decades later that’s called fanfiction—more on that next month.

The great thing about writing is you don’t have to be good at it, you simply have to do it. I write because it’s something I love doing. These days I write with the goal of publishing, but that wasn’t always my motivation. Having your work published isn’t what makes one a writer.

What makes someone a writer is the drive to write.

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There are people who keep what they write private for a number of reasons. You know what? That’s okay. We’re not required to share every little detail about ourselves with the world. I kept much of what I wrote very private for a long time. During school, before college, I was the girl who walked around with a notebook hidden in with my other books. I wrote down all sorts of stories and tried out different styles. When I wasn’t reading books to escape into a little fantasy world I was writing them.

I love to read and eventually discovered a sure fire way to find exactly the types of stories I want to read was to write them. It’s a simple concept, really. Now it’s a bonus to me that others seem to enjoy reading what I write as well.

When I was very young I lived with my grandparents. Today that’s not such an uncommon thing, but in the sixties being a child of divorced parents who lived with her grandparents was unique to say the least. My grandmother was very sick and I often had to stay home from school to care for her. She was mostly bedridden and slept a lot, so the dog and I were on our own. All my friends were in school and I never cared for game shows or soap operas.

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There was no Netflix or digital books. Our house was filled with books, but more of them were for adults than a little girl. I had my own collection, but I’d read through them and often getting to a library to find other books wasn’t an option. Some days I really wasn’t in the mood to re-read, so I began to write. I wanted stories about adventure and space travel and horses, so I created them. Sometimes all in one story! That simple act allowed me to express myself and explore with my imagination. When I didn’t write, I went back and read my stories.

It was fun.

Eventually I learned what it was to be a published author and those were the people who created the books stored in our family room. I wanted to be one of those people. To me writing has never hard work, but something that seemed as natural as breathing. It’s my happy place after a day of dealing with the world.

So, to answer the question why I write? The answer is simple. I can’t not write.

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5 thoughts on “Why I Write”

  1. Elizabeth, this is the first time I got a chance to read all the way through this post. Thank you for telling the story about your youth in your grandparents house. I’m not so sure that is a very common story, and I appreciate the chance to know you, as an author and a person, a little better. 🙂

  2. That’s so funny you should mention creating different endings or new adventures for favorite books and television shows. I’ve done this my entire life, and like you, didn’t realize this was called fanfiction until relatively recently. I too spent a lot of time alone as a child (only I was the one home sick, instead of staying with a relative who was). Looking back now, I’m glad I grew up in a home where reading was treasured. It’s been my joy and escape as long as I can remember. 🙂

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