Chuck Wendig Wants to Know Why I Write


(Rather than his typical fiction challenge, Chuck has asked us to write an essay on why we write)

Why do I write?

I don’t think anyone truly knows why they write. They may know the catalyst – the event that started them on the path to writing. Or perhaps the teacher, parent or friend who inspired and encouraged them. But the honest to God why?

Whenever that question has been posed to me my answer is simple: “Because I must.” Why must I? Got me. Is it to relieve the pressure of all the voices, characters and ideas in my head? Is it just the simple joy of words and finding ways of putting them together in just the right way? Or is it that I simply can’t keep my mouth shut – can I just not say what’s rumbling around up there between my ears? Could be. Or perhaps it’s genetic. Scientists keep finding that many things people do are actually genetic – so perhaps writing is something that my DNA code is predisposed toward and I am simply compelled to write through no self determined thought of my own.

Why I love to write

It would be easier to tell you why I love to write. I love to venture into my own mind where the only boundaries are the ones that I enforce. Where the rules are mine and no one else’s. Where I can create any kind of alter ego and adventure I want without risk of bodily harm. Because words create a kind of music in my head, a tune I can’t stop humming and truth be told I don’t want to stop humming. Because it makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like me, who I am, who I really am. Because everything is a story of sorts and I find stories infinitely interesting and intriguing and challenging. And too because I like to please people. I like to make them laugh. I like to make them think and feel and experience things that they wouldn’t otherwise feel in the real world. And stories are the things that connect us all.

So…why do I write? For no reason and for every reason.

What about you? Do you write? Do you know why? What does writing do for you? What do you want your writing to do for others? Entertain, intrigue, interest, think, something else? Feel free to give your reasons in the comments.