Why Does Anyone Write?


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?


9 thoughts on “Why Does Anyone Write?

  1. Hello! 🙂 Came over from the Community pool. This is an interesting read! I learned something new:) It seems like you have found your passion!

    PS: Also wanted to let you know, the link you posted on community pool redirects users back to their own site. I clicked on your name to get here, so no worries:)


      1. Excellent thought and writing technique. The thoughts you summarized are the same ones I came to in my life. My problem is, I have many passions. In my career, I found I was able to use several of them, so most of my working life I had a blast. For free passions, I still have too many, but writing is first and foremost at this moment. The only real complaint I have is friends and family use me for a lot of things, but appreciation seems to me quite low. But, that too, is a free passion, so I have to balance out that portion. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much for the redirect issues. Beginner ignorance, I am sure, but I am trying to learn. I want to be efficient at this, if I can, and reach a few people when possible. Regardless, I have to write. 🙂


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