Why do you write?
- I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.
- Ludwig van Beethoven
German Romantic composer (1770 – 1827)
I came across this quote today and it really made me stop and think – why do I write? It certainly isn’t for money or notoriety, since I already have a fulfilling career. Initially I think it was a challenge; ever since I could read I readily devoured every book I could get my hands on – fantasy, science fiction, mysteries – you name it. Those books were a welcome escape for me at the time, and I always wondered if I could write a story worth reading.
I had toyed with the notion of writing several different times, but a wicked little voice in my head would always whisper ‘You’re not good enough’ or ‘No one will ever want to read something you’ve written‘ or perhaps the worst one, ‘You’re not that creative.’
In 2002 a few months after the death of my father and my grandmother, my youngest son had to have surgery to remove a cyst behind his lung. It was then that I realized that life was far to short to listen to such foolish thoughts and this particular inner demon was finally muzzled (although it occasionally tries to return).
The result – I started writing. To my surprise, I found that I loved the creative process. I could create, destroy and re-create characters, creatures and the world around them as I pleased until I was happy with the result. I have discovered a welcome tonic – if I have a rough day at the office, I can come home and work on a chapter or two and presto – I feel better! (note: the characters of my novel have learned that if I’ve had a particularly bad day, I tend to take it out on them – sorry guys…)
So why do I write? Because the story inside needs to come out – I write because I love the process and the result. To my fellow writers out there, why do you write? How did you start down the path you now travel?