I have spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about Why I Write. I want to thank everyone who reached out to me on social media or through their own blog posts about why they write. It has helped me come to understand more about why I write.
Reasons others communicated to me included, but was not limited to:
- Responses to emotions
- Because characters won’t leave them alone
- To be of service to someone or the community
- Because it is enjoyable, if frustrating
So after muddling through my thoughts for a few weeks, I believe I have a better understanding of why I write.
For Me, Writing is Intensely Personal
Writing, whether creative or non-fiction, forces me to work through an issue. Stories allow me to explore an idea without judgment. Shreds of my identity can be planted in all of my characters.
Writing is my therapy. When I face fears in my life, my protagonists emerge. For example, there is Aurora, a military-conscripted girl living on a war-torn planet. She picks up my anxiety for the future and duty, and holds them within her, facing the world with those beliefs critically crippling her–and yet. She moves forward, unable to turn back. Carrying the fear as I craft narratives, she dismantles it bit by bit, lending her courage and strength back to me.
The Next Step–Sharing my Words
I have the compulsion to concoct the narrative, to weave the story, and to explore the characters by writing them down. However, in the end, I don’t have to share my stories. I don’t have that compulsion to actually share what I have written.
But I don’t feel there is harm to others for sharing these stories. Except when it leads to facing criticism. Writing is a part of myself and my struggles on the page and for someone to critique the expression of it would hurt–a lot. When I do move forward with my fiction, publishing and distributing, I will need to keep an eye on my impulses to check on reviews. Because those reviews won’t mean anything to my why–they might only hurt me.
I am currently reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. And this quote really got me rolling in the right direct as to what my why for writing actually is:
“Art has the power to render sorrow beautiful, make loneliness a shared experience, and transform despair into hope. Only art can take the holler of a returning soldier and turn it into a shared expression and a deep, collective experience. Music, like all art, gives pain and our more wrenching emotions voice, language, and form, so it can be recognized and shared. The magic of the high lonesome sound is the magic of all art: the ability to both capture our pain and deliver us from it at the same time.” Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness. Page 44.