Why Do You Write?

Some of you will be aware that this has been a difficult year for my family. We have been affected by serious illness of someone close and dear, a situation which has deteriorated in recent weeks.

At times like this you pull in, rally around and try to make life as comfortable as possible for everyone. It makes us grateful for the wonderful experiences we’ve shared, and feel fortunate for our own health that enables us to seek out all those adventures life has to offer.

Needless to say, there’s not much time left in the day for hobbies. This morning I picked up my pen for the first time in a week and jotted down ideas for two future novels. Before I realised it, two hours passed. Afterwards, I felt a mixture of elation and contentment, as if someone had inserted a hosepipe and flushed the dusty corners of my brain.

I’m not sure I really consider myself a professional writer. To me, that conjures up images of journalists and reporters desperately tapping keyboards to meet a set deadline and I haven’t freelanced for years. I’m just a girl who likes to read and write fiction – a storyteller one might say. I was overwhelmed with the (most unexpected) interest in my first book and feel very lucky and proud that it completed the journey into print.

In recent weeks, I’ve received many messages from readers asking when my second novel will be released; requests that are both flattering and humbling. I’m about three quarters through penning the story and really enjoying it, but it still needs a lot of work and probably won’t be ready for submission for a few months yet. I’ll then be at the mercy of publishing world, where nothing is certain, but hopefully like the first it’ll find its way.

Writing is a hobby for me. It doesn’t pay the bills; I have a day job for that. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. I don’t force myself to write every day, don’t adhere to word counts. I write when I’m in the right frame of mind and can indulge it. And when I’m not, there’s always plenty of research to keep me occupied. But it also means that I can’t afford to give in to procrastination; I have to squeeze my words into what little spare time I have.

One thing I do know is that whether or not my work is shared, I’ll continue. If I’ve learnt anything from the absence of my keyboard this past week it’s that I write because it makes me happy. It flicks a switch in my mind that no other hobby touches. Long may it continue.

What’s your excuse?

10 thoughts on “Why Do You Write?

  1. I also write because it makes me happy. I stopped writing for a few years (mostly due to a hellish pregnancy followed by the trials of new motherhood) but made a concerted effort to start aain about a year ago now, by buying myself a netbook so I can write on the train. I realised what a difference it made to my life when I would arrive at work feeling happy. Some days I even wish my commute was longer!

  2. Writing makes me happy too! I find myself looking forward to the time I get to put thoughts to paper. Maybe one day it will pay the bills, but for now I will write just for me.

  3. Like you, I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like lately. The day job’s had me buried for most of a month now, and writing is more or less an old, beloved hobby at this point in my life.

    I write now for the same reason I started, oh twenty-one years or so back. Story ideas come, and they won’t leave me alone until I get them onto paper. I polish and publish because I have things to talk about, and I love making people happy. But beyond those reasons, when the store, events, homeschooling, and everything else gets to be too much, there’s just something about writing that’s the best stress reliever around to me. It’s my link to sanity on those bad days.

  4. Hi, dear friend. I’m sorry to hear about your family situation. I recall last week’s DM’s on Twitter. I’ll add your family to my prayers.
    With regard to writing, I don’t write because I’ll fold into a ball and die if I don’t or because I enjoy the process. Some do and I love them for it. I write because I seem to have some gift for telling stories, and because for nearly two decades I only dreamt of being a writer. Now that I’m really writing and getting published and people are appreciating the work, I’m pushing myself very hard because I feel as if I’ve wasted far too much time already and can’t stand the thought of wasting anymore.
    Once again, *hugs* for you and yours.


    • Hi James, Thanks for the comment and the kind words. I hope you get to share your words and write multiple books for years to come. One day I’ll see you on TV and be able to say, “I know that guy. He used to wave at me across the pond!”

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