Even if you are an author, a wannabe writer, or just a simple human being with no intention of becoming a writer, I am sure you HAVE written something at least once in your life, be it an entry in your personal journal, a blog entry, or a piece of fanfiction (I am guilty here, I tried writing fanfics once)… or even your own story. Do most of us write solely for money or must there be something else that triggers our wish for expressing on paper?
Money. Yes, there are a lot of people who write for money, especially professional writers, but also a lot of bloggers who can make money with every visitor who lands on his blog and hits the ads on the page. But can you write just for the money? I doubt… Where there is no passion, no intrinsic reason, I don’t think there can be anything to last. Of course you can write in the basic sense of the word, but it is not authentic, and it can’t last. I once thought I enjoyed drawing, because my friends were good at it, but in the end I gave up drawing. It was just a fling.
Writing is a means of expressing our thoughts. I think this is the main reason for which we take up writing. Here, there is no external factor that forces us to write. But often, if we publish what we write, we become influenced by those who comment and watch our works… and so…
Writing becomes a duty to the readers. A duty to our fans. I uploaded my novel on Fictionpress and received some comments. Of course, most of all were positive, consisting of good advice, but if it weren’t for the reviews I’ve received, I would’ve probably never written the last draft of my novel. The worst thing is that, once I get a few followers, I feel obliged to them to update the novel as soon as possible, sooner than I would’ve if it weren’t for the pressure. This is not necessarily a good thing. Once you begin to feel this duty to your readers, you stop writing what your mind thinks, and start writing what they expect you to write. Even if involuntarily, you begin to realise what your readers want, and you become influenced by their comments. Thus the work becomes less personal.
And the last reason that comes to my mind:
Writing is like another reality for you. Have you ever felt that your life is meaningless… or not the way you wanted it to be? That there are a lot of things you wish you’ve had or known, a lot of things you would want to be? You start to daydream, and soon, you wish to put your ideal life on paper. I (partly) write because my dreams come true by writing them. I also noticed this… that when I am very happy with my life, I tend to neglect my writing, and start doing more practical things, like going outside with my friends, going in a club and having fun etc. Writing is like playing a RPG. It’s like an alternate reality. PS: This also includes writing a story in which the people you hate are the victims (hence the picture), or in which your crush becomes your boyfriend (if you are a teenager writing YA).
So, why do you write? Because I am sure you do… :)