The Million-Dollar Question

“Why do you write?”

This is an important question for writers, but at first glance it seems ridiculous.  “Why do I write?  I’m a writer.  Wasn’t I born that way?”  That line of thought really doesn’t work, and yet it seems so simple for us to answer that way.

I think the main reason I write is because I like stories.  I was seven when I first wrote anything.  It was a short story that I am not so proud of now as I was then.  Since then my writing has alternately grown and lessened, until it has reached the stage I am at today, where I try to write every day.

At first I wrote because I wanted to make up a story.  It continued thus until I began writing every day, where it became a matter of writing for the sake of writing; I almost couldn’t live without it.  If I tried, I would have to supplement my life with double reading time, doubling the books necessary, and thus doubling my rereading rate.  This would have the effect of me rereading things I still remembered vividly, thereby making those books mildly detestable as being too predictable.  Also, I would pick up any book that looked even remotely interesting, getting me to a place where I have three piles of books on the floor, half of which I would throw away because I absolutely loathe them.  So.  Writing is a time-killer right now.

Another reason to write is because it is very possible (and ever-increasingly probable) that I will go completely insane because of too many ideas.  That will lead to my becoming a hermit, thinking up theories about eating and sleeping making you wiser.  (It’s true; the more you eat, the less your mouth will be able to say foolish things.  The more you sleep, the less you’ll be able to think of reasons why this theory isn’t very practical.  See, I’m doing it already after only one week without writing.  [Note: this post is a scheduled post.])

Believe it or not, writing actually helps me with learning.  I don’t learn much unless I write it down in my own words.  This came up primarily in my biology course, where I was getting pretty bad scores until I talked my mom into letting me write everything down instead of diagramming.  Immediately test scores went from seventy and eighty per cent (not the best) to 100% on all but a few tests.  It wasn’t any sort of change in the topic, just in the method of absorption.

Writing is also one of the only things I stick with.  I’m not too great at perseverance, really.  Thus, I’ll start something, learn enough about it to pass as a mediocre whatever-it-is-I’m-trying, then give up.  With writing, however, though the powers of despair assail me every time I read something written infinitely better than I could ever write, I’ve fought them off every time with a crazed grin on my face, scribbling like a kindergartener with a vendetta against his crayon.

Writing also helps me remember.  I’m quite scatterbrained, so my powers of remembrance are sporadic at best.  Thus, when I need to remember something, it disappears, and when I don’t need it, I remember.  Now, this would be fine and dandy if only I had a time machine; I could wait until I remembered something, then zap myself back a few hours and whisper it into my past self’s ear.  Prob-lem solv-ed.  Unfortunately…  Well, I think you can figure out what would go wrong with that plan.  But if I write something down, like a good idea, I’ll most likely remember it later.  Writing helps me, so I write.

Also, writing is a way to clear thoughts.  It has the same capacity to aid you as talking to yourself does.  Both things help get your thoughts into orderly fashion, and thus will help you think about them better.  I’ve had ideas floating around in my head for days and weeks at a time, during which period I don’t progress at all in their development.  Then I write them down and new ideas flood in.  I suppose I could also just go around talking to myself all day, but my friends think I’m crazy enough already.

And there you have it…  Unless you don’t.  You’ll figure it out eventually.

Want to follow our blog tour? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

May 5––The Leaning Tower of Plot

May 6––Comfy Sweaters, Writing and Fish

May 7––Cassidy Marie Rizzo

May 8––This Page Intentionally Left Blank

May 9––You Didn’t Really Need To Know This…

May 10––Inklined

May 11––The Word Asylum

May 12––Lily’s Notes In The Margins

May 13––The Zebra Clan

May 14––Tangential Bemusings

May 15––Reality Is Imaginary

May 16––Dragons, Unicorns And Other Random Things

May 17––The Lonely Recluse

May 18––A Farewell To Sanity

May 19––The Incessant Droning Of A Bored Writer

May 20––All I Need Is A Keyboard

May 21––Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)


18 thoughts on “The Million-Dollar Question

  1. “It’s true; the more you eat, the less your mouth will be able to say foolish things.”

    You’re brilliant. And this explains why my brother says so fewer stupid things than I do…

    1. Wow… I’ve never had that before. And that isn’t to say that I didn’t want it; my biggest fear was that I was mangling everything as much as possible. Thank you.

  2. Nice post. There are plenty of good reasons for writing here, some of which I share, and others that I’ve never really thought of. This was funny and honest–as always.

  3. Nice post, as always! I agree with you everywhere here and agree that you’re very coherent. Which is pretty amazing, considering how whimsical and random many of us are. Oh and now you have me wanting a million dollars for answering the question…

  4. I can’t learn by diagramming either! Hooray for notes-writers. Teachers seems to be convinced that spider diagrams are THE ONLY WAY OF LEARNING ANYTHING EVER SO WASTE YOUR LIFE DOING THEM FOR EVERY SINGLE SUBJECT WOOPPEE. I cannot learn from them and never will. Diagrams are fine if they’re for, like, machinery, but I don’t study DT. So, it’s notes for me. Okay, they’ll be illegible and I’ll probably quote Queen or Frank Turner a few times (sample sentence: “But then Hitler turned back to Chamberlain and he’d changed his mind. He wanted it all and he wanted it now.”) but they work for me.
    Lovely post 😀

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