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Why do you write?

November 20, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments


Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
Stephen King

Can’t say it a whole lot better than that … Someday, when I publish my first book, I will be absolutely thrilled if even only one person reads it and likes it. If no one reads it, well, I’ll still be happy, just because I finished it. Still, wouldn’t mind getting that one like πŸ™‚

Why do you write?


  1. kirbyp
    November 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I’ll read it! I must get around to reading “On Writing”, I only ever hear good things about it. Thanks for the inspiration Dave πŸ™‚

    • November 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Definitely read his book on writing. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

  2. November 21, 2013 at 12:42 am

    That’s completely true. I would also say that if you write specifically to be successful, your motives will be made subconsciously clear in your writing, and you won’t have success. You have to be passionate about whatever it is you do in order to do it well. Success is a fortunate byproduct of doing something you love.

    • November 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Absolutely right, Jeff. If you write for any reason other than the love of creating stories, there really isn’t a point. I think King himself once said something along the lines that if he’d never been paid anything for his writing, he’d still do it. Because he has to.

  3. November 21, 2013 at 6:21 am

    My cat keeps walking on the keyboard and accidentally writing stories and blog posts for which I take credit. I hope he doesn’t walk on the phone someday and accidentally hire a lawyer.

    I write because I like moving words around. These lines and squiggles are abstractions, and the idea of positioning lines and squiggles in such a way as to make people laugh or cry or be scared is pretty crazy when you think about it.

    It’s also cheaper and quieter and far less expensive than directing, which is what I really want to do…

    • November 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Ha ha … better watch that cat, Eric.

      I like your description of why you write. I hadn’t thought about it, but creating by typing and moving around words in such a manner that they affect those who read our stories is actually quite amazing.

      As for directing, it’s not something I’d ever be in to, at least for now. But my son, that’s another matter. If he could, he’d drop all that he’s doing to be a film director. But for now, he decided he’d be a doctor. He’s about to enter residency and that’s keeping him plenty busy πŸ™‚

      • November 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        I’d say he’s maybe a slightly more stable choice at this point. πŸ˜‰

      • November 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm

        Ha ha … yeah, you’re right. I think he’ll be safe in the medical field as he’s going into a specialty that’s in high demand. Now if he wanted to be a family doctor I’d be much more concerned. I’m afraid pretty soon we’ll have none left. 😦

  4. November 21, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I’ll be first in line to read your book, Dave! I own around 30+ books on the craft and I don’t have King’s book. What is wrong with me? I’ll definitely put it on my Kindle. I write because I love to create characters and get lost in their world…certainly not for the money. πŸ™‚

    • November 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Jill! That would be awesome.

      You absolutely must get King’s book on writing, even if you don’t like reading his books. The man is a treasure trove a inspiration and great writing advice. What would be your number one book to recommend out of those you have?

      There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting lost in a fictional world you’re creating, Jill. It’s really quite amazing, and fun. And yeah, there’s not much money in writing for most of us πŸ™‚

      • November 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        For now, I’d say Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell is my number one craft book. That poor book has been highlighted and dog-eared to death. I’ve recently been reading Techniques of a Selling Writer, it’s an excellent book as well.

        Kudos to your son on going to medical school! I’m sure you and your wife are very proud. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the upcoming weekend, Dave!

      • November 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Hey, thanks for the book suggestion. Sounds good, and based on your copy’s current condition, it sounds like a very useful text πŸ™‚

        Thanks for the kudos as well. We really are so proud of him. He’s managed to make it through med school and his intern year and is doing great. He even managed it after the arrival of his first child (an awesome little boy named David … couldn’t be prouder of that) during med school.

        Have a great weekend, Jill!

  5. November 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Dave: King’s book is great! Let me know when that book of yours is ready for publication. I’d love to read it. This whole thing–writing and striving to make something worthwhile–is something I look forward to on a daily basis. And my first two experiences with NaNoWriMo have certainly rejuvenated me, and I think I’ll always look forward to the “November Kick-in- the-Rear” that NaNo provides. I know I desperately need it after some lazy habits creep in over the summer! πŸ™‚

    • November 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks for the offer, Mark. I appreciate it.

      My first experience with NaNo was amazing. The following two weren’t so great but for different reasons. And this year, I just laid low. It really is a wonderful way to make yourself get those words down on the page, though!

  6. November 21, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I love stringing a story together. Getting all the parts where they need to be, like putting together a puzzle. That’s what I find most stimulating.

    • November 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      I love stringing the story together. Sometimes, I don’t so much like the puzzle aspect, as in what should I do if I paint myself into a corner, or how to handle a particular sticky plot point. In the end, though, I love the process. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here banging away on this silly keyboard πŸ™‚

  7. November 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Exactly the same as you Dave πŸ™‚ I have written my first book (after three others never got finished) and it is with a publisher at the moment and I’m waiting for feedback. It is a long and tricky road ahead I know but I loved writing it so much that it has already done its job for me. I write to entertain, and hope to do so for others πŸ™‚ but even of I don’t it certainly entertains me πŸ™‚

    • November 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Great accomplishment! How exciting is it to have your book at a publisher. Every writer’s dream. Best of luck with how it all turns out. Looking forward to reading it once it’s published.

      Hey, if we can only entertain ourselves with something we do, that’s pretty good. I know I always manage to keep myself amused πŸ™‚

      • November 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        And that is also an accomplishment I think πŸ˜€

        It is exciting and nerve wracking too! Still waiting on feedback. Not counting chickens just yet but this is the furthest I’ve ever got so I’m still pleased πŸ™‚

        Thanks again for the post!

  8. November 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Part of it is catharsis, there is a part of myself in every story I write. The other part is the need for me to be creative and constantly make stuff – I guess I am a creator or artist. I’m constantly making things; music, model kits, artwork, stories, characters…I probably should have been a craftsman like a carpenter because I like completeing something and standing back to look at it – to say, there it is, this is what I’ve done. On Writing is a great inspirational book. I had reread it about a year ago to get me writing again after many years of being casual so about it. Another great book for writers is: ‘Writing Tools; 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer’ by Roy Peter Clark. it’s available on Amazon – its more about honing the craft than the inspiration but it is an amazing book.

    • November 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Mike. It’s interesting what parts of your life manage to sneak into what we write, or get put there explicitly. I suppose it’s just the way the creative process works. I guess I’m an artist as well, in a sense, but only when it comes to writing. I don’t really create anything else, so when I complete a book or a short story, the sense of accomplishment makes it all worthwhile.

      Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll go check it out.

  9. November 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I ask myself this a lot. Why do I write? I also oil paint, or have in the past. But I don’t really do it anymore. I have other forms of artistic expression and creative outlets that could help me get by, but I don’t really use them much.

    I’ve decided it’s because writing makes me happy in a way the other things don’t. That’s it. Just because it makes me happy.

    • November 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Music has always been a very special part of my life. I play guitar and have always enjoyed it, but I don’t play as much as I used to. I spend more time writing these days. It’s more fulfilling and seems to be where my thoughts always wander.

      Your reason for writing is wonderful … and I think, ultimately, the best reason anyone should write.

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