Why someone puts pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard is an extraordinarily personal matter. If you ask ten people why do you write?, you’re likely to get ten very different answers. Because I write mostly creative nonfiction, my writing is particularly personal. I’ve often been asked: why do you share such intimate details of your life in your books, for all the world to see and read? My common reply:
I know, that answer is kinda glib. The truth is, on any given day I’m writing for reasons that may be completely different from why I was writing the day before. For example, my humor column, Dock Tale Hour, is for fun, to share my quirky view of the world around me. However, when I’m writing a policy manual or a training curriculum for an agency, they are most definitely NOT interested in my particular sense of humor. Additionally, sometimes there are human interest stories I write for newspapers because I want to help share an important story focused on someone, or some issue, that is not Kimba-centric.
Recently, my book manager asked this very question–Why Do You Write?–of the authors who work with her and as part of the campaign: #write2016. Being a creative bunch, we took the challenge a bit further and created memes that describe our writing proclivities and inspirations.
I’m betting you’ll love these images as much as I do:
Now, it’s your turn, why do you write?
Would love for you to share your answers in the comments section below.
Tuhin saysJanuary 21, 2016 at 11:24 am
Now this is a good topic to discuss.
I write to help people come out of negativity and lead a better life… This is the only reason why my blog exist.
Anyways I like your blog too.. The design is so simple and cute.
Keep it up and be in touch.
Diane saysJanuary 18, 2016 at 11:00 am
In Grade six, Mrs. Hainsworth told me to. And I’m always obedient! 🙂 And let’s face it – fiction is always just a bit better than reality. If I want reality, I’ll watch the news.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:24 am
Ha! Well thank you Mrs. Hainsworth! But I don’t know about fiction being better than reality – reality gives me some of my best material!
Rhonda saysJanuary 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm
I write because since I was 6 years old I heard God tell me He was sending me on a life long journey of experiences. He is telling me to share them now.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:28 am
I bet you’ve got some great stories to share Rhonda.
Diane Topkis saysJanuary 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm
I write my Career Clarity ebook series to reach a wider audience than I can from coaching and in the hopes that I can help at least one midlife woman find happiness in their work. I used to write my blog on more dry career specific focused advice. Perhaps after reading so many different blogs from Facebook group members like this, I also started writing about more every day stuff and lessons that might apply to your career. A few years ago I never thought of myself as a writer. I do now.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:30 am
I love your writing Diane, especially your Career Clarity series!
Leanne@crestingthehill saysJanuary 17, 2016 at 5:04 am
I write because it is a new found joy – I love putting my thoughts down and knowing other people are connecting through them. It was really interesting reading other people’s responses.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 17, 2016 at 11:19 am
Welcome to the writing clan Leanne – what genre do you focus on most often?
Kathy Minicozzi saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm
I write because, if I don’t, all those words will build up inside my head and it will explode. That will make too much of a mess. Writing is cleaner.
Michael G. Munz saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm
I’ve had this exact problem Kathy, and you’re right. The cleanup is a total pain in the rear.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 17, 2016 at 11:20 am
Ha! Yeah, writing can be a messy process, but lets keep our heads intact!
Janice Wald saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm
I enjoy helping people. People tell me my writing tips help them. I enjoy writing. To do what you enjoy and feel that you are helping people while doing it–there are few greater rewards.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm
Hi Janice. I couldn’t agree more – being able to do what you truly enjoy is a gift. Was just talking about this over the holidays at a gathering. I was surprised how many folks admitted that they work to make a living and pay the bills, but they don’t work because they enjoy the work.
Zeenat Merchant Syal saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm
I love the sheer energy of this post!
I write because, I love to put my thoughts out there, for other hearts to feel and heal.
I write because its a channel to fulfilling my purpose of bringing about healing and positive change in peoples life.
Plus i write because I LOVE love love it!
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm
Zeenat, your enthusiasm leaps from the page! You have me smiling from ear to ear.
Cindy Brookshire saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 6:30 am
I write because…three high school students challenged me to be “fearless and raw” and read a poem that exposed my innermost feelings at an open mic. The experience was exhilarating. So it’s not just about writing, but being heard – the relationship between a writer and her audience.
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm
Cindy, I would have loved to have been there from your poetry slam. I agree, connecting with your audience is a wonderful feeling.
Suzie Cheel saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm
I write for me and for you. My writing inspires others to be better and to take inspired action, I write for me each morning as it allows the whispers of my heart to surface. I write to share my journey and inspire others to live a vibrant healthy life. xxoo
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm
Suzie, I love that you “write for me each morning.” What a great way to greet each day.
Roslyn Tanner Evans saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm
I write because my coach told me to blog. I write because a wonderful small group of friends who write won’t let me drop out of our group and despite my resistance for 15 years, I manage to write & share my words. I prefer to speak and share my stories, my thoughts, my life, but writing can last. Writing may go further. Writing may touch something & make a difference.
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm
Yay for your writing group – They should never let you stop Roslyn!!
Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm
I’m late to writing, and still in the sphere of blogging (haven’t yet felt the pull to do anything bigger/longer). The first few years were torturous, but the last couple of years have found me firmly grounded in appreciation for the flow, for the passion, and for the knowledge that my words will be useful to at least someone. I resonated most deeply with Elise up there at the top of the list.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Sue I’m so glad you’ve found your blogging rhythm because we all love reading your posts! And, Elise is wonderful, check out her books!
Marquita Herald saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm
The memes are brilliant! My knee-jerk response to the question would be rather bland I’m afraid, because I can’t NOT write, it’s just the way I’ve always communicated. But the truth is I write to let my readers know they are not alone, that others have experienced similar challenges on this roller coaster ride of life. And when a reader takes the time to let me know I’ve encouraged them in some way or helped them get through a rough patch in their life, well that sucker just brings me to my knees like nothing else can. 🙂
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm
Oh Marty, I absolutely agree – when a reader lets me know that one of my stories made them laugh out loud that is the best feeling EVER and always encourages me when I usually need it most.
Tam Warner Minton (@TravelwithTam) saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm
I do love them! I write because something inside me wants to get out…and I’m better at writing than talking.
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:59 am
HA! I get myself in a little less trouble when it comes to writing vs talking. At least with writing I have the chance to edit – once it’s out of my mouth there’s no backspace/delete!
Michael G. Munz saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm
I know that feeling, Tam. I’ve often said (or tried to say) that the road from my brain to my writing hand is a 5-lane highway, while the one to my mouth is narrow two-way backroad festooned with potholes.
TERRY saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm
I write for the reasons in the first picture.. because someone will see themselves, laugh, grieve or just enjoy. I write because I have always dreamed of being published and this is my first step forward. I write because I believe that it is one of my gifts. But right now I am not sure where I am going with my writing so I just write !
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:53 am
Writing is definitely an ever-changing journey, isn’t it? I do hope you reach that publishing goal!
stella marie alden saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm
I write because I wake up every morning, compelled. There’s these characters in my brain who have life stories to complete. Without me, they’re stuck in limbo. They complain and whine inside my head. WRITE THIS DOWN! SPEAK MY VOICE! FINISH MY LIFE! What can I do but comply?
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:49 am
The voices in our heads are both a blessing and a curse. I hate it when they go on strike and I come down with a monster case of writer’s block.
Leslie Handler saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 9:47 am
I write because it’s the only thing I’m good at. My entire life, people told me to find my passion in life. I finally found it. That’s why I write.
Kimba saysJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:29 am
Leslie, I’m so glad to hear you found your bliss.