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Why do you write?

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Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:08 am
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tgirly says...

There are a lot of moments when the writing project can be discouraging or frustrating, so I thought it might be a fun idea to make a thread of all the reasons people do write. That way, when you're at a tough spot, you can come back and look over all of the great things about writing, and remember that it's worth all the hair-pulling and raptor screeches of frustration.
If you want to join in, just post a couple of reasons you like writing, or what got you interested in writing in the first place, and anything you've learned from the creative writing process along the way! The posts can be as long or as short as you'd like.
Last edited by tgirly on Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
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Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:13 am
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tgirly says...

I'll go first!
I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was in the first grade. I knew I wanted to be a novelist since my mom told me what a novel was, after I’d stolen most of the notepads from her desk so I could write “Animal Woman and Nature Girl,” a superhero story about a mother who could turn into any animal, and a girl who could control nature (I had a superhero phase).
Writing has taught me how to set goals, and complete them. Sure, when I was a first grader with wobbly handwriting, I rarely got very far. But in middle school, I decided to do NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, with a goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. If you haven’t heard about it already, there’s some great discussion boards about it around the site. I had to write about 2,000 words every day. That type of dedication wasn’t required from any of my classes or afterschool activities at that age. I was exposed to time-management strategies I never would have discovered without the addition drain on my time, and I learned how to be productive during my writing time. It increased my sense of focus, which was a huge benefit when I started high school.
Writing also gives me a sense of accomplishment. Obviously, I was proud of myself for finishing NaNoWriMo. But beyond that, every time I finish a draft, or a chapter, or find the write word to describe a setting, I feel the thrill of success. So often in school, it feels like we’re just getting through the obstacles we have to pass, learning the lessons we have to learn, in order to get out there as adults and finally do something meaningful. Even though I know the lessons I gain at school are going to be important, solving a math problem will never feel as productive as working on my novel, something that could potentially have an impact on others. No one’s ever going to look at my math homework and be moved to tears (besides maybe me. Calculus was not my strong suit), but if I can get the story right, it could make people feel something. It could create human connection. It could do all of the things that all of the stories I’ve read have done for me (how reading has changed my life could be the subject of a whole other thread). And the progress of writing is very clear to me. I can see how my work has improved from draft to draft, I can record how many hours I’ve spent working on a piece, and I can see the ever-increasing page count. With writing, I feel like I’m getting somewhere important.
Finally, writing has given me amazing opportunities for reflection. Why do you think youth writing angsty love poetry is so common, it’s a trope? It’s because we have no idea what we’re doing in relationships, and we’re trying to figure that out. Writing allows one to analyze emotions and circumstances in a context that is both abstracted away from one’s own life, and still controlled by the consequences of the concrete. Poems and stories have allowed me to understand and articulate emotions in a nonthreatening landscape, which has been both therapeutic and validating.
I discovered a love for creative writing so early in my life, it’s hard to tell how much influence over my life it has had. Is writing so integral to my identity because I discovered it so early, or did I discover my love of writing so early because it’s integral to my identity? I’ll probably never be able to answer that question definitively. But what I do know is that creative writing is worth it. It’s more than worth it.
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:20 pm
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Evander says...

Great thread, tgirly!

Hmm, there are a multitude of reasons why I write. (This will be focused on prose, mainly.) It's honestly one of my favorite pastimes.

If someone had to give me a choice between theater, gaming, and writing, then I would probably most definitely have to choose writing. I've been crafting stories and little narratives since I was a little kid. To stop writing completely would be like ripping a vital organ out. I, uh, stopped for about 18ish months, and the only thing I can do is look back on those 18 months with this hanging sense of regret.

Tgirly, I definitely agree with you that writing has provided me a sense of accomplishment and has also taught me how to set goals. My parents were mostly "hands off" in their homeschooling of me, so picking up writing as a hobby was beneficial for learning how to complete long term projects. Uh, I credit the Last Man Standing for any sort of writing schedule that I have now. Seriously, I wasn't really writing chapters consistently until I got into that contest.

If I were to compare why I wrote as a little kid compared to why I write now, then the fundamental goal is still the same. I wrote because there were stories that I wanted to see in the world but couldn't find. This ranges from Dora the Explorer fanfiction, to Harry Potter fanfiction, and to my current (long term) affair with original fiction.

Seriously, I don't know who I would be without writing, and I don't think I want to know either.
Want to talk about your project? Head on over to the Writers Corner! If you have a question about writing, then head on over to Research! Is your question not big enough to warrant its own thread? Ask away in Little Details!

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Tue May 01, 2018 4:42 am
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alliyah says...

Great answer @tgirly - a lot to reflect on.

I wrote an answer for why I write poetry, here. But "why do I write" is a suppose related but different?

I think that writing is therapeutic but it is also self-discovery/processing as well as world-discovery/processing. I wouldn't say I write to feel accomplished, because I don't end up liking most of what I write all that much (not to say there aren't pieces that I'm proud of, but 80% of what I write is slop - I try not to post that thankfully though!) I do however enjoy the process of trying to write something "good" - but more for the process and challenge of perfecting and analyzing than to just admire the end result.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan

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Tue May 01, 2018 12:40 pm
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SunsetTree says...

i write prose and poetry for different reasons. i write prose because i like creating characters. i like creating worlds. it's like raising a child without all the labor.

poetry is more of a form of release. whenever i try to open up about how i'm feeling to others they have a tendency to immediately try and convince me about why the way i'm feeling is wrong instead of making me feel better, so i write poetry about the general trace of emotions i'm feeling as an alternative.

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Tue May 01, 2018 6:07 pm
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rosette says...

Ooh, I like this thread!

Why do I write?
I feel like I could give so many answers to this, and yet I don't want to sound cliche. :p It really depends on what it is I'm writing. Like journaling, and most of my poetry, and a few random song lyrics I've written come from not knowing how else to express myself. It's literally straight from the heart, and writing is the only way I know how to get that out. (I've always been horrible at telling people about my problems. D: )

With my novels and short stories, I love having characters that are messed up or flawed in some way, and helping them get through their problems. It's so, so, SO satisfying for me when I can finish a story and breathe a sigh of relief and say "Wow! We got through that!" And I know that might sound strange xD but I love helping people! I love helping my characters. And even if I feel like I can't fix the problems in my own life, I know I can help them with theirs. It's honestly like a therapy for me. xD

So there you have it: one reason - a major reason, actually - why I write.
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Thu May 03, 2018 5:33 pm
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Tenyo says...

It's tidier than paint and cheaper than a guitar.
We were born to be amazing.

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Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:23 am
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aulyasela3597 says...

I really do love writing a lot ! :D I love to create stuffs, if I don’t create, I won’t affect the world around me. If I had a trouble sleeping, woke up in the middle of the night, I grab my pen and took a piece of paper and write what inside my mind, ideas, dreams, boost up my creativity. I pour all my thoughts and feelings it in until I feel much better. There’s no despair that can’t be held at bay with words. I also love to share my stories and beliefs I need to share to the whole world. Writing can change lives, and there are lives that need to be changed. It gives us many positive impacts for everyone, even for me. I write to meet people and to connect with others who I might never have had any contact with otherwise. I want people to one day look up to me the way I look up to the writers that I love and respect. I know that sounds egotistical, but I don’t care. It’s honest. :D

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Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:58 am
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NerdTrash6000 says...

My answer is...a little complicated.

I have been writing since I could hold a pen. I can't place why or how I came to love it; it's just something I always liked, even though I couldn't read fluidly until I was in like, second grade. School sorta made me hate reading for a short period of time, because it always felt like I was being told to read because they said so, not because I enjoyed it. But I started to like writing in second grade, after an assignment in which we had the opportunity to write a story and "publish" it, so to speak. Knowing that I had the ability, and that I could hone my writing skills, to publish a story birthed a love of the arts, in general.

But...even with this love, I struggle to show my love for the art of storytelling. I have many reasons why I love and hate the act of writing, but I believe I should focus on the reasons why, instead of how I feel about it.

My first answer would be that I write to try and let out my pent up emotions that I normally don't have a place expressing. In a life where having such explosive emotions as I have is inconvenient and sometimes even called inappropriate, it's one of the few sanctuaries I can find. Though not tangible, the art of weaving stories has helped me work through inexplicable emotions that no one has helped me fully understand, no matter how much I might try to seek help. Having depression has made it significantly more difficult to get actual writing done, but when I do write and I don't hit any snags, it feels like I'm suddenly more free than I was when I wasn't writing.

My second answer; I write to provide a sanctuary for other people. A great number of people find a sanctuary in the story of a character they can relate to, and I'd like to provide that to someone. If my words can reach just one person, and touch them so deeply that they find happiness and peace in the story, I'll know my purpose has been fulfilled. We read to know that we aren't alone. I write to allow someone to feel at home again.

So, there it is. I hope my words weren't too flowery, or the like. I just felt...poetic, I suppose.
May the sunlight always find you, thy days be long, thy winters kind, and thy roots be strong.

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Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:16 am
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Horisun says...

Every time I'm discouraged while writing, I go through this list, and it puts me back in my writing mood.

1. I've always loved story telling, I'll sometimes I tell younger kids little story's I've made up in my head, and using their ideas along the way

2. To have the novel I'm currently working on published would be a dream come true. I've wanted to tell story's even before I knew how to write!

3. My brother doesn't believe in me, so I'm going to prove him wrong.

4. Can't leave my characters hanging, can I?

5. This is going to sou d cheesy, but I want somebody to pick up my book, and love it like I love Harry Potter or Hunger Games. It doesn't have to be thousands of people, just one person who won't forget it.

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tgham99 says...

I write to express my feelings in a healthy way, which is something that has always been recommended to me but I've never taken seriously until recently. Writing as an outlet has been very therapeutic, and as a result of doing it, I feel like I'm also getting the benefit of developing my writing skills further.

On a more practical note, I write because I'm hoping to go into the publishing and editing business one day with my degrees, so it'll be helpful and likely more enjoyable for me if I take the time to write now while I'm still in school and exploring the world of English and literature.
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