Why I write…

This question was posed in our regional forum at NaNoWriMo and I thought that I’d make it my blog post for the day because I found myself thinking about it quite a lot.

Why do I write?
I think the first and primary answer to that would be because I need to. I can’t quite explain it, but I’ve always had this itch inside my soul, this need to put words on paper. If I don’t, then my head becomes filled with background noise, my emotions wild and my general anxiety about living unbearable.
I typed my first story out on my mum’s widows 3.1 computer (brand new at that stage because we had just upgraded from a dos). It was raw, it was silly, it had no plot and no punctuation but, it was mine and it felt as if for the first time in my life I found some semblance of control over my soul. I lost that writing due to a faulty floppy disk, but a seed had been planted. I think I was 8 or 9 at the time. My next bit of work was my first fan fiction, a silly story in which I threw myself as a character into a cartoon, (Gummi Bears, gotta love those days). Thinking back, I was such a Mary Sue character then. The work was still raw, unorganized, unstructured and uninteresting but I was starting to get better and more comfortable with the idea.

I played around with writing for the next few years, through primary school and my first two years in high school. My work was private, sacred. Nobody was allowed to look at it until one day, I finally relinquished a piece of paper to a friend of mine. She read it and gave me the first true feedback that I ever had. She liked it, and her words and encouragement opened doors to me. I pushed out scores of pieces then, though always allowing only her to read it until finally I discovered the site www.fanfiction.net. I don’t know what made me post my first story there, but I did and I have not looked back since. It gave me my second reason for writing.

Feedback. I write because I’m a review junkie, an addict if you will. I love hearing what people think of my work almost as much as I do writing about it. I still post only half of the stuff that I write, some pieces being too personal to put in the public eye and some plots too complicated to make sense of, but that which I put out there, I’m very proud of. I’ve had some stunning reviews, stories of people telling me how I have touched their lives and that is the biggest reward that I have ever had.

Naturally, I would love to publish… One day. But, it’s not the most important bit to me. If I can make money out of this, and find a way to make this a living it would be wonderful but it’s not what I want primarily. At the end of the day, I just want to have fun because lastly, I write because I can.

Writing is mine, it’s something I developed for myself without ever receiving guidance (except for my friend’s encouragement, which meant worlds to me) or help. I did it for myself, developed it for myself and succeeded in it for me. I’m not good in a lot of things, but I believe that this is one talent that I somehow managed to get and use.

I hope that answered my regions question, lol.

13 thoughts on “Why I write…

  1. kyuun November 18, 2009 / 1:00 pm

    This has a lot of reasons in it about why I write, too. Although, I only really got into it two and a half years back. Of course, my own first works weren’t anything to be proud of and shall never see the light of day – mostly because the computer they were on’s screen broke and we opted to buy a new computer rather than replace it, which was a mere $100 more expensive. *shrugs*

    And now, here I am, attempting the NaNoWriMo myself…

    I’ve always felt that there’s a kind of therapeutic madness that goes with writing. People don’t understand why we do it – after all, it is a lot of work – but once you get the bug you become a slave to your own keyboard.

    Perhaps the therapeutic madness I speak of is a ‘just me’ sort of thing. I do write a lot of what is currently dubbed as ‘crack!fiction’, both in fanfiction and original pieces.

    I think I write simply because it’s so fun. Didn’t seem that good at the start, albeit, but when I got to writing that first decent piece a few years back… what can I say? I had fun, and then I wanted to do more…

    and more.

    Anyway, sorry about the long and rambly reply. I’m rather prone to rambling, but I do like meeting other writers. There’s not enough of us, heh.

    • Alyssa November 19, 2009 / 8:47 am

      🙂 there isn’t – or – there’s enough of us but we tend not to interact. I’m realizing this with NaNo. What I enjoy the most is talking to my fellow WriMo’s. It’s made a lonely hobby something to share. I really like it, i’m actually surprized by how much I like it. 🙂

      Thank you for the comment!

      Have a great day.

      • kyuun November 19, 2009 / 9:41 am

        Yes, the non-interaction doesn’t help. I suppose introversion would factor in for a lot of us – I myself need a lot of alone time, and writing’s the perfect thing to fill the gap. 🙂 I’m rather surprised how I like it, too, although I’m more likely to interact by fanfiction writers than other people doing the November struggle. ^^ Granted, a few of them are doing it anyway, but you know what I mean. 😉 It’s so nice when you finally find people you can share your writing with and talk to in general, isn’t it?

        Welcome! ^^ Thanks for the post! 😉

        You too.

  2. Fyrefly November 19, 2009 / 12:23 am

    Hello again, you wrote before that it was ok if I left comments so I thought I’d leave another one ( because, yes, I am one of those people that doesn’t like to do things without permission and that includes commenting, I feel like I’m intruding or something ) Now this is probarbly a stupid question but Whats a Mary Sue Character? I like writing and spend most of my spare time doing that, I have for a while now, but I dont know anyone else that does so I have no idea what a mary sue is…
    I think its good that you decided to show your friend your writing and that you found a place to post your stories. My oh-so-great cousin and her equally fantastic friend (yes, thats sarcasim) decided to sneek into my room not too long ago and read one of my writing books. I told them that I didn’t want to know what they thought of what they read and I still dont feel comfortable with the fact that every time she sees me with my book she knows what I’m doing. I’m being stupid, i know, but I can’t help it.
    Any way I’ve taken up enough space (sorry ’bout that) so i’m gonna stop now. good luck with your NaNo.

    • Alyssa November 19, 2009 / 8:53 am

      I think our insecurity from sharing our writing comes from the fact that we’re sharing something that people don’t normally have privy to. Nobody can read your thoughts unless you make them physical and through writing we do that. Therefor, it’s only natural that we’re frightened and shy about what other people might think about it. As Phil said though, I suspect your cousin must’ve liked reading it. 🙂
      Sometimes, one person’s feedback is all that it takes.
      Keep heart, don’t stop and don’t feel awkward about it. This is your gift, use it.

  3. Phil November 19, 2009 / 4:46 am

    There’s an inherent contradiction in why we write in that what we write is often so deeply personal that we’re hesitant, almost frightened to let others see what we’ve written and at the same time our creative impulses are compelling us to reveal our thoughts, ideas, creations, whether fictional or autobiographical.

    @Fyrefly, hope it’s ok if i say that i think your cousin and her friend were probably totally impressed with what you wrote, envious, too. At least that’s the sense i got from the way you described their behavior. Anyway, don’t ever be discouraged. Alyssa is right, writing is in our soul.

    • Alyssa November 19, 2009 / 8:55 am

      Well said. 🙂 Good to see that you’re still here.

      It is an inherent contradiction. I think it takes a lot more courage than people give themselves credit for to reveal what they think. I think about authors like Kim Harrison who spends almost her whole life baring her thoughts to the world not only through her books but through her blog as well. It’s an incredible gift.

    • Fyrefly November 19, 2009 / 11:33 am

      Thanks Phil.

  4. Phil November 19, 2009 / 5:38 pm

    You’re welcome, Fyrefly! 🙂 And btw i agree with what Alyssa said about Kim Harrison … our love for writing can lead to an entire universe born out of our own creativity if we choose that path! Good luck!

  5. GreyIxia November 20, 2009 / 4:39 am

    Hey :). Incoming: long comment 😀

    I absolutely agree with everything said above, and your reasons for writing are kind of the same for me as well.
    I love writing. It is my soul like it is yours and I love how it can take on many shapes and forms. It can be a poem, which always always help me fight the roughest emotions. It can be a story, which help me express my thoughts and feelings in a way I am seemingly unable to do in person.
    I also love the solitude of writing. It can be devastatingly lonely sometimes but I still love it. I am sort of “lonely by nature” though, simply meaning that I enjoy solitude much more than others do. (My mom is actually like this as well, as is my sister.) Writing–and reading as well–sort of replace people. I enjoy their company much more, and I guess that is not necessarily a good thing….
    About the feedback: I love it as well, but as Phil so cleverly stated, it is sort of a contradiction. I am hesitant to share my work because of the fear of negative comments, but I also really want to share it to receive those positive comments.
    I specifically enjoy posting my work online because (1) it is read by people you do not know and (2) you mostly receive good comments. Even if someone did not like it, most of them would not bother to tell you they hated it, and if they did, it would be a terse, worthless statement like “Awful.” These negative comments do not bring me down, they positive are much more reassuring, even if they just say “Nice.”
    But that also has a negative side, being that you do not really get how much people like it or not.
    Sometimes, thinking about famous authors make me cower in my boots. I sometimes put myself down by saying, “You can never match their writing” or, “You will never be as successful”. But I have realized that all this pessimism will get me nowhere with my writing and I am working on abolishing it.

    I wish you the best of luck! Keep writing and do not let anyone–including yourself–bring you down.

    • GreyIxia November 20, 2009 / 4:40 am

      Woah. I did not know it was THAT long. I apologize 🙂

  6. Phil November 21, 2009 / 12:23 am

    On apology necessary, Greylxia, i for one enjoyed reading your comment! I like that you don’t let it get you down when others don’t like your work. The most famous writers had their detracters, reviewers who savaged their work! Who knows why someone responds negatively, or positively for that matter, to what he or she reads? The good writers will find their audience. Good luck! 🙂

  7. Phil November 21, 2009 / 1:29 am

    Oops, i meant to say, No apology necessary!

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