Why do I write?
Why do you write?
Afterall, we are putting naked thoughts on screen for someone else to criticize.
But, we don’t expect criticism, do we?
Unless, of course, your purpose in writing is to stir emotions on an inflammatory topic. Unfortunately, this is quite popular today.
No doubt, all of us remember when someone read our “thoughts” on paper and have said,
“This is horrible. Do it over!”
Why did anyone write prior to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Cellphones?
The audience, back then, frequently had to pay to read anything new and fresh.
They bought newspapers, or paperbacks, or hardbound, all made from paper. The writers got a few pennies on everything sold and the publishing companies the rest. Therefore commerce.
In the past as now, one could go to the library, of course, to read the same material for free.
Even before paper, there were ancient Libraries.
There were ones far back in history, like the Library of Ashurbanipal (7th cen. B.C.) where one might read the “Epic of Gilgamesh.”
Or, a more famous historical library perhaps, The Library of Alexander, (~330 B.C. thought to have burned ~42 B.C.) wherein it is thought there were over 500,000 papyrus scrolls.
The secret to the ‘why’ is just as individual as the writers themselves.
But, I suspect creativity writing begins with a hunger to put thoughts on a page or screen and assume someone else would actually take the time to read it.
In turn, the writer hungers for someone, anyone, to say they enjoyed reading it. “I liked it” Better, “I liked it so much, I suggested my friends read it!”
The anti-hunger to that is the reader that reads it and does not respond in any way, therefore no feel good to the writer. Akin to kissing through a screen door.
Are you an organized writer, one that blocks out the flow, the characters, the timelines, in Outline form?
Or, are you an unorganized one, wherein the story flows as it develops in your mind?
Is the first word terribly hard for you?
Ernest Hemmingway reportedly would stay on one sentence for days or weeks, finding just the right words.
It is said that Edgar Allan Poe used drugs for his horrific thought processes but edited heavily when sober.
Or, perhaps, you consider yourself a reporter, an accumulator of facts, assigned to assemble those facts in a readable form to impart that knowledge to someone else.
Who, What, When, Where.
In my case, the need to write is just like a hunger pang.
I do not sit down every day to write, I wait for the hunger.
Once I get started, it truly is more of a stream of thoughts.
Oh, for school and college, I did sit down to write as it was an assignment from a tenured professor.
And, later in my working career, I had to write each day, many many technical words.
Sometimes I reported findings from a particular customer situation.
Sometimes I imparted Knowledge, instructions on Physics or Electrical Engineering, for example.
But, there were times when the hunger struck, and I sat down to write, without a care as to who would read it, and whether they enjoyed it or not. I do that here today.
I enjoy writing.
I feel true creativity is one wherein you cannot help yourself to follow that creative edge, regardless of the outcome, the negative feedback or silence. The guitar player, oil painter, dancer, that simply does without thinking of others.
Stated another way, writing is something I would find myself doing even if there were not a pair of eyes in the world to read what I had written.
So, why do you write?