Do you know why you write? There are no wrong reasons to write, but asking yourself what yours are is a valuable exercise. Some people know the answer to this question immediately, while others can't answer it at all. As most writers will attest, they certainly aren't in it for the money!
Connecting with the method behind the madness has many benefits. For one, it helps to keep your writing practice grounded. If you know what you're in it for, it's easier to avoid projects you're not passionate about. Or, if your passion is secondary to your ambition, it can help you to hone in on your next steps on the path to glory!
Whatever your answer to the question is, you'll learn something about yourself by identifying it. If you're having trouble pinning it down, here are some of the most common ones. See if you can see yourself reflected in any of them.
Because It's Fun
For many writers, whether or not they enjoy writing depends on the content. They might spend every waking moment working on their mystery novel for the sheer joy of it, but do just about anything to avoid writing that academic essay that's due on Wednesday. Sometimes, even writing the mystery novel loses its lustre in the wake of writer's block or burnout.
Then, there are those who delight in the simple pleasure of arranging words, no matter the reason. While far less common, they're certainly out there! Of course, even they aren't immune to fatigue. They may also lean towards certain projects and be more reluctant to take on others. If this is you, you'll have a lot more options and an easier time choosing from among them.
To Be The Exception
Most of us know it from the start; we're probably never going to be Dan Brown. We'll never just roll our faces along our keyboards, submit the result to our publisher, and then sit back and watch as the royalty cheques arrive in the mail.
But even Dan Brown wasn't Dan Brown until he was Dan Brown, right? Why not you?
Writing for the sole purpose of becoming rich and successful is likely to end in tears. That said, having that as your end goal and doing your very best to make it happen is a perfectly valid motivation. Who knows how many paradigm-shifting stories would never have been told if their authors had been discouraged because they thought they'd never succeed?
Sharing Your Love For Something
When you really care about something, it's only natural to want to share it with others. You might have thoughts on a particular subject that you haven't seen expressed elsewhere, or see an opportunity to articulate them better for a specific audience. Perhaps it's a niche interest, and you want to draw more attention to it. Maybe you just love whatever it is so much that you want there to be more of it in the world.
Whatever the case, there are few better reasons to write than because you're passionate about the subject matter. Because you care, you'll know more about it than most, and be more likely to do it justice. You'll also be less inclined to fits of rage and existential dread, since you'll actually be enjoying yourself.
Spreading Your Message
Got something to say? The desire to broadcast one's beliefs is a very human impulse, as is spurring others to act in accordance with them. Words have the power to influence and inspire, and writing is an excellent way of getting your message out there. As grand as the desire is, wanting to change the world is actually one of the most common reasons to write!
It's worth noting that your work doesn't have to be an opinion piece to change people's minds or get them thinking. Many of the most thought-provoking works of our time have been packaged inside of fictional narratives.
People draw parallels between the media they engage with and their own experiences almost instinctively. Getting your message across like this has the added benefit of making people feel like they came up with the idea themselves, which makes it all the more powerful!
Wanting To Be Seen
Even among those who write purely for pleasure, there is a tendency to want that work to be read, enjoyed, and (dare I say) purchased by others. It's not always easy getting your writing seen—at least, outside of your social circle. Thankfully, there are an ever-increasing number of platforms and avenues online for your ideas to find an audience.
It all depends on your scope. Are you satisfied with your words reaching even one person's ears, or are you thinking much, much bigger? The demand for written content is high, but unfortunately, so is the competition. If you don't want your voice to be drowned out, you'll need to stand out from the crowd.
If you'd like to write but you've never written anything and you'd love to be mentored and supported, take a look at our book coaching and writing programs! Or send us a message below.