A popular writer laid down a challenge a few years ago on his blog: List 40 reasons why you write. I wrote 42. Here they are. Why do you write? And for readers, why do you read?
1. I love coffee. Coffee and writing are two pleasures that go together.
2. Creation, that of materializing my thoughts into a book, gives me a real high.
3. Writing gives me a reason to write words and phrases on little scraps of paper for future use.
4. I love words.
5. I love phrases.
6. I love using good grammar.
7. When I write, I get into flow. Flow while writing is mesmerizing and enlightening.
8. Writing is my way of expressing myself.
9. If I hadn’t starting writing I would not be the happy person I am today.
10. Writing opens my senses, which means everything I see and do has deeper parts to it.
11. I write because I enjoy exploring.
12. I write because I like saying things in ways that are unique to me.
13. Writing allows me to speak my truth, and we should all speak our truth.
14. When I write, I feel I’m creating a context for readers to view life. They make it their own perspective.
15. Journaling is a form of writing. Through journaling, I’ve learned about myself and how the world is for me.
16. I love making up stuff, building a world with my ground rules.
17. I like to write because it’s fun.
18. I write because I love letting my imagination go.
19. I write because what else would I do? I’m a writer.
20. I feel the power of story to inspire and uplift.
21. Writing is an organic process that expands my mind and opens me to different ways of perceiving.
22. I like to smell the roses, then put language to it.
23. I heartily enjoy writing with my playlist in the background. I’ve discovered a variety of great songs putting together a playlist for each book.
24. I write because I listen to my passion and it says, “Write!”
25. The writing process facilitates pauses in everyday life. Pauses are rich moments.
26. Writing lets me do very interesting and varied research. I get to talk to experts and pick their brains.
27. When I’m writing I’m in the present moment and from that I see more. Life becomes very up close.
28. Writing is a way to connect with other people. I find that very fun and expanding.
29. I have writing to thank for helping me become alive, truly alive.
30. Writing has given me an appreciation for story structure, which enriches my movie viewing and book reading.
31. Writing is hard work, but I like the work. It’s a challenge.
32. I’m a pantser, so I get to discover plot and characterization as I write. The discovery is exciting.
33. I like to tap into the partnership between my laptop and my brain when I’m writing.
34. I write believing it is a process of bridging the gap between despair and light for myself.
35. Writing is an investment in hope.
36. I write because I have the stuff of heroism in me. Self-doubt, rejection, disillusion can stomp out anyone’s inner authority. With writing, I can have confidence in my passion despite painful self-talk and choose to trust myself, much as a writer I heard a number of years ago say in an interview. The writer said that every time he works on a story, every time he sits down at his typewriter (yes, he said typewriter), he feels unable to write a story. "I have a voice in my head from childhood, ‘Who do you think you are?' But I keep at the story,” he said. “I see that I am bridging the gap between despair and the light. If I denied the faith in that, that would be wrong."
37. The writing process is way of self-discovery. Self-discovery leads to freedom.
38. I write paranormal stories and those stories give me an opportunity to introduce possibilities about life. Life is not what we think it is.
39. Sometimes life is hard and writing is a way to get an emotional boost.
40. Reading can be a welcome relief from reality. For me, writing provides a welcome relief from ordinary and boring.
41. I write because it’s important. A speaker at a University of Illinois graduation once challenged graduates to address the “The Big Why. Why are you here? Why are you doing what you are doing?” The speaker suggested that a lot of people ignore answering “The Big Why,” to the detriment of society. Maybe for writers, the answer is that despite obstacles and challenges and naysayers who say we can’t or shouldn’t do what we love, that our books aren’t good enough, that we should write in a prescribed way rather than write what’s in our heart, we persist and make the world a better place.
42. I write because I can.