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Why I Write

August 28, 2011

Freshly Pressed April 25It has been almost one full year since I quit ‘work’ (i.e., the act of being paid regularly for performing a set of tasks for someone other than myself) to write on a full time basis (see “Best Before…” for the when and how and why of that decision).  I can hardly believe that twelve months have passed and yet – when I look at the volume of work produced [not to mention the calendar] – I must acknowledge that it has.  I have yet to get paid for anything I’ve written, but my goal was to sell something within two years, so I still have a ways to go (and if it takes longer, then so be it – I waited almost forty years to do this, I can wait a little longer to see my name in print).  In the meantime, I’ve had great response to my blog (including winning the “Freshly Pressed” lottery in April for my “Choose Your Own Adventure” post) and I’m confident that my fictional works will soon catch the attention of an interested publisher.  I’ve had my ups (short story contest wins) and downs (rejection letters), but the fact that I’m living my life’s dream trumps it all. 

Most of the people I know – who are aware of my decision and the various reasons for it – generally ask questions like “How’s it going?” and/or “Have you sold anything?” and/or “What are you working on now?”  But the other day I met a young woman for the first time who – when I was introduced to her as a writer – asked me a very different question: “Why writing?” she queried. 

Of course, I gave her my pat answer: “Because a writer is what I’ve always wanted to be.”

Why Write?“But why?” she persisted.

“Because writing is something I love to do,” I explained.

“But why?” she repeated.

Good question, I thought.  So – why do I write?   

  • BlogI write because I have something to say.
  • I write because I’m afraid someday I’ll have nothing to say.
  • I write because I have stories in my head that need to get out.
  • I write to be heard.
  • I write so I cannot be silenced.
  • I write to understand.
  • I write to be understood.
  • I write to fill the time.
  • I write to quiet my mind.
  • I write to create something permanent.
  • I write because there were people who told me I couldn’t.
  • I write because there were people who said I shouldn’t.
  • Journal WritingI write because I can’t sleep.
  • I write because when I wake up, I need to record my dreams.
  • I write because it makes me happy.
  • I write because it frustrates the he** out of me.
  • I write to give life to the characters who keep yammering in my head.
  • I write for those who can’t (or won’t) speak for themselves.
  • I write to prove a point.
  • I write to give voice to my deepest thoughts.
  • I write to start conversations.
  • I write to express myself.
  • I write to find the truth.
  • I write to hide behind words.
  • New KeyboardI write to be seen through my words.
  • I write to evoke memories.
  • I write to forget.
  • I write to find out who I used to be, who I am, who I will become.
  • I write to stay sane.
  • I write because it makes me crazy.
  • I write to discover new worlds, new people, new situations.
  • I write to find love.
  • I write to find answers.
  • I write to share what I know.
  • I write to uncover more about what I don’t yet know.
  • I write to be remembered.
  • I write because I love the syntax of language.
  • I write because I can’t sing or dance or play a musical instrument.
  • Old KeyboardI write because it’s easier than ‘working for a living’.
  • I write because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
  • I write because there is nothing that frightens me more.
  • I write because there’s nothing I’d rather do.
  • I write because I can’t stop.
  • I write because it’s the one thing in the world that makes me feel whole.
  • I write to laugh, to cry, to scream, to sigh.
  • I write because I can … because I must … because I want to.
  • I write because I am a writer on … the other side of 55.

I Write Because


  1. October 2, 2011 4:17 pm

    I love your list! I need to write one myself on my urge for drawing. Thanks a lot for the inspiration!! Oh, and I have just realised (sorry – was tantalised by your writing first) that you have Hungarian name :)!

    • October 2, 2011 4:54 pm

      It’s important sometimes to stop and think of why we do the things we love. (And yes, my husband is Hungarian; he came to Canada when he was ten).


  2. Swati permalink
    September 7, 2011 12:09 pm

    I love it. I hope to be a writer one day; I’m just an amateur now. Your list was awesome. 🙂

  3. September 3, 2011 4:33 pm

    Bravo!!! and good luck with getting published. Not to ask a pointless question or anything….have you considered self-publishing? You can upload your book to amazon onto kindle and publicize through social media. Anyhow…..I loved all the reasons you write!
    Regards, Cindy@notjustagranny

    • September 4, 2011 9:13 am

      Thanks! I’ve checked out the self publishing route and may consider it at some point – but the returns are far less than ‘commecial’ publication (which has always been my dream). I am looking primarily at digital publishing – print is a much longer process and losing ground.


  4. August 31, 2011 11:32 pm

    A friend of mine shared the link to this post and I have to say I could have signed my name to the bottom of it. I love that you are living your dream and writing your life…. I am, too, but not 100% as I have to still work to pay the bills … for a little bit yet. You write because you have to and that is what you were meant to do. Take care and keep writing. Loved your post!

    • September 1, 2011 9:12 am

      I am soooo fortunate to finally be able to follow my dream (and to have a husband who works hard to pay the bills!) Your day will come – don’t ever give up! Glad you liked the post!


  5. August 29, 2011 11:48 pm

    Love, love, love this. Your list inspired my latest post…hope you don’t mind. Thanks.

  6. August 28, 2011 9:02 pm

    That’s an exhaustive list you assembled! All those answers are great. For most writers, one or two would be sufficient reason to write. That you are driven by all is remarkable. The one that resonated most for me was, “I write to give voice to my deepest thoughts.” I’ve kept a private journal that I write to almost daily, and while reluctant to share a lot of what I write publicly, I find a strong need to write and give voice to those thoughts if only to listen to them privately. They need to get out and onto paper. Margo, good luck with your writing endeavors. I hope you exceed your own expectations.

    • August 28, 2011 10:43 pm

      Different days = different reasons to write. Thanks for your comments, and for your encouragement. It’s been an interesting journey so far (to say the least) – but I’m enjoying every step of the way.


  7. August 28, 2011 4:38 pm

    Great answers!


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