The Writer’s Journal: Why Do You Write?

I was supposed to get this Writer’s Journal posted yesterday, but I focused on things that needed attention and one of those was my family. Sometimes writers find themselves so confused with writing that they spare little time for their big why. Last night my why reminded me.

What is the Big Why?

Every writer has a different answer to this question. You can write revenge fiction like Alexandre Dumas in Count of Monte Cristo. Or you can be like Robert Jordan in The Wheel of Time series that gave his opinion on how a farmer plucked from his home for a great destiny would truly act. But then the why could go deeper than what if scenarios? Your stories can be allegories of the world you see around you, or troubles you’ve faced. You may write to inspire the change in the world you wish to see. But these don’t address the real why. Some writers write for themselves, others for others. Often, we send a message to someone without realizing it. But many want nothing more than to entertain. Whatever your reason is, don’t worry if it doesn’t match your early motivations.

Can Your Why Change?

I learned in my military career that your why for doing things can change. The reason I began writing is one of my favorite stories, though I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it with a large group. Growing up, I had one cousin who I’d competed with since we were babies. While I played sports, I wasn’t a super fit kid, and once my cousin started wrestling, that proved even more of a challenge for me to keep pace. One day at our weekly visit to my Great Grandpa’s house, my cousin told me about a book he wanted to write with his friends. They would each take a character’s part, write their part of the story, and combine it. The writing of a book became another challenge in my mind. I thought, I don’t need others to help me write a book, I can do it myself. And as all young writers, we borrow heavily from fresh ideas around us. I created a story combining elements from Harry Potter and X-Men. I may laugh at the writing now, but without that start, I don’t know if I would have written a page.

So my first why started out as competition. Then I learned I loved this craft of fiction. Now, well, we get into why last night inspired this post.

The Sharing of Stories:

Last night, surrounded by brothers, cousins, and parents, we reminisced about old embarrassing stories and took turns reminding each other of some blocked memories. My wife brought up a point that it’s interesting how each person remembers different aspects of the same story. The mention of one story may inspire frustration in one and happy or funny memories. Thanks to those who shared their stories, I remembered the joy of story sharing, and some reasons I write.

Why I Write:

I write, hoping to show my brothers’ that dedication to a goal can lead to personal success.

I write, hoping to share stories of how I see this and other worlds with family and strangers.

I write to create, and to prove to myself that creation is a worthwhile pursuit.


Thank you to everyone who has made it this far. This Writer’s Journal is more personal than my usual post, but I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe it helped answer some questions for you, or maybe this was self-indulgent. Either way, I will leave you with one last question you can answer in the comments, or write it for yourself.

Why do you write?

Previous: Making Time

One thought on “The Writer’s Journal: Why Do You Write?

  1. Pingback: The Writer’s Journal: Making Time – Myers Fiction

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