This is the last day of the month and therefore, my last edition of Back to School with Writing. I’m not sure what topic I’ll pursue next but hopefully the muse will hit me by this time next Friday. I’m calling this final edition Why do I write?
Why do I even ask this question? Simple. I ask it because writing is one of those professions with uncertain financial rewards, requires a lot of mental energy and therefore is very draining intellectually, is full of rejections so it definitely bruises egos and often doesn’t give as much joy as it takes from a writer’s life. Success? Yeah, you have a few, but so many more failures than successes. Don’t become a writer so you can become a celebrity. Most likely, you will always be unknown. Often you’ll even doubt your own abilities to be any kind of a writer at all.
Having said that, let’s look on the bright side now and explore why I’m still a writer, despite all I’ve just mentioned.
- I don’t want to be a quitter. You remember that saying cheaters never prosper? Well, quitters never prosper either. Why? Because they quit before they can. I don’t want to quit at something that has potential in my life to fulfill my dreams.
- I’m driven to write. If you’re not driven to write, and you think you’re a writer, you’re probably not a writer. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Sure, I took a few years off here and there when I was extremely busy and tired; aka raising babies and children, but even then I was journaling. I couldn’t help myself. Writing is in my blood.
- I like to write. Writing is fun. It’s one of those funny, quirky, creative jobs that are just fun to do. On my best days, anyway. Now that I see it as a job, sometimes it isn’t as much fun. What jobs are? I often have to remember what I’m writing for so I can make it fun again, which leads to point four.
- You get to share who you are with people. Writers are often loners. They don’t share their lives with people easily. Writing is a way to bare your soul. Even if I’m writing through a character, I’m often writing at least a little bit about myself. When I write, I tell my story.
- Writing has financial dividends. This is the toughie here, because it’s not always true. And sometimes those dividends are so minuscule, you begin to wonder if they’re worth the work you put into the writing of it. Can you make a living from writing? Not often, but it can add at least a little padding to your income. And this brings me to point six.
- As a creative option, it doesn’t cost a lot to write. When you look at other hobbies, they can be expensive. My husband is an artist. He has to buy canvases, paint, brushes, things to put these things in. Plus it takes a lot of space for him to work in. My writing doesn’t require anything but my laptop or a pen and paper. It doesn’t take a lot of work space either. I usually just write at my kitchen table.
- Writing builds confidence. This is one of those things where the door swings both ways. Remember I said it bruises egos, but it also builds up self-esteem when someone publishes your writing. They liked it well enough to actually pay you for it. Wow! That’s something special.
- It helps people. Your writing may heal someone or help them heal. Have you ever written a letter to someone, and they said, that’s just what I needed to hear right now. Writing did that. An article may supply the information that someone might need right at this time in their life. Your story may lift someone’s spirits, or help them face something your character went through and they are going through, too. Writing is medicine.
- It improves your mind. Are you getting older, and can’t remember things so well?Write it down. Writing helps to improve your memory, keep you sharp and not age as fast. I know because I’m a grandma now and I’m getting older. When you write, people don’t see your age either. You can be eternally young through your writing.
- Lastly, writing makes me happy. It’s a dream I have to publish a book. That dream keeps me going. Knowing that someday I will achieve this goal makes me happy. It gives me a reason to live and move forward in every area of my life. Because a writer is who I am.