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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-09-28 05:37
Subject: [writing] Why do you write?
Security: Public
Tags:music, personal, process, writing

Why do you write? Why do any of us write? Here’s some of my reasons.

  • I have something to say (though I am rarely if ever didactic)
  • I like the sound of my own voice, so to speak
  • I am in love with the language itself
  • Storytelling is fun
  • I want to be read
  • I want to be remembered as have added something of value to the world

Always hoped that I’d be an apostle
Knew that I would make it if I tried
Then when we retire we can write the gospels
So they’ll still talk about us when we’ve died

What about you? Why do you write?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

Post A Comment | 19 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: brownkitty
Date: 2011-09-28 13:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Because I want to connect.
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Queen of the Skies
User: queenoftheskies
Date: 2011-09-28 13:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Because I have to; I've always had to. I can't NOT write.
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewriter
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2011-09-28 13:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Why does anyone write anything? Why do people write shopping lists? So that they will remember the eggs?

No, they write shopping lists so they don't have to remember the eggs. They write, in other words, to forget.

As do I. I get stories in my head. They knock around in there, growing, taking up brain space, until I write them down. Only then can I forget about them.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2011-09-28 14:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
• I wanted to be an actor, but I'm better at this.
• I want to know how the story will come out.
• Writing is (sometimes) fun.
• This is the arena where I can test myself.
• Sometimes I just don't have what I want to read, so I have to write it.
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2011-09-28 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Because it would drive me crazy not to.
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Clint Harris
User: wendigomountain
Date: 2011-09-28 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I couldn't decide between spaceman, spy, knight, pilot, or chef. With writing, I can do all of them.
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User: martyn44
Date: 2011-09-28 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Because there is the monkey on my shoulder that gives me no peace unless the words are being put down. Then there is the obligation to the stories that choose me to write them. Other than those, my reasons are much the same as yours.
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Twilight: WriteInspirationPen
User: twilight2000
Date: 2011-09-28 15:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The stories clog my brain if I don't - they have to go somewhere - "paper" is a better medium than permanently in my brain.
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2011-09-28 15:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've talked about this question before, mostly at http://jimvanpelt.livejournal.com/349656.html, but a couple of other posts too.

I think I write mostly because when a story works, it's SO cool. Sometimes the language lines up in a pleasing fashion, and out of that arrangement a sense of rightness, magic, art or something in the territory of all three arises.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-09-28 16:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I live my life in other spaces, in other voices and bodies than the ones I have been born to; there is always a story in my head, a better-than-life, an if-only.
And there is the feel, the flavour, the shape I search for when I read, or listen or watch, the right note, the golden light, the single dark magic. And words are how I chase that down and try to make it show itself.
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User: andelku
Date: 2011-09-28 16:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When I stop writing my life tends to go very badly and when I start writing again it tends to fix itself. I have no idea why. But I guess I'd better not stop writing. It's like a vitamin.
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User: klwilliams
Date: 2011-09-28 16:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I write because I have to. That's the only way to get those stories out of my head, so they'll leave me alone.
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User: zyzyly
Date: 2011-09-28 17:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It reminds me that I exist.
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User: suzan_h
Date: 2011-09-28 19:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
To get the voices in my head to shut the *bleep* up.
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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2011-09-28 19:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lyles constant
It's neat messing around with words and text, polishing and rearranging. Lately I'm very into translation, which is a continual sequence of fun little enigmas to solve.
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Reynardo the Red
User: reynardo
Date: 2011-09-29 00:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's this story and I want to know where it goes and I want to find and end to it. Once I've done that, I want to share it.
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Leah Cutter: Telephone poles
User: lrcutter
Date: 2011-09-29 05:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Telephone poles
Like many of the other posters, I write to get the stories out of my head and because I have to. If I don't write, I get bitchy and crazy.

But also, I write because it's fun. There is nothing better, not even really good sex, that's as satisfying as writing. And I love to live in story land. "What if" are the most powerful words in any language.

look at all my trials and tribulations
sinking in a gentle pool of wine
don't disturb me now
I can see the answers
til this evening is this morning life is fine
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That Which Fights Entropy: gallifreyan text 1
User: amberite
Date: 2011-09-29 19:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:gallifreyan text 1
Some of my mission statement is up on my real-name blog: I want to make fiction strange as truth, to reflect the inner realities of the people I know and love.

Then there's the fact that written English is my natural language, in a way spoken English is not. My timing is frequently off, and my thoughts often so high-bandwidth that articulating them in full takes paragraphs. This is continually frustrating to me. It's great to be able to sit down and really say what I mean, rather than fragments of it.

And there's also the simple love of books and desire to make more of them. Lots of people think this way about their own species; I suppose that makes me a symbiotic part of the reproductive system of books. Wow, I never thought of it quite that way before.
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User: homa_bird
Date: 2013-10-26 05:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You write until you don't need to anymore.
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