“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”
Each author has his or her own means to spur the imagination, the motivation to sit down and write. The source of an author’s motivation is vital to the writing process—and understanding it will enhance the quality of any written piece.
In this blog post, I’ll explore some of the reasons why writers write and then I will discuss my own experiences. If you’re an aspiring author seeking direction, then this article will provide some useful guidance. Maybe you can relate to your own experiences—I’d love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂
—Why Do Writers Write—
To Express Creativity
“The arts especially address the idea of aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which your senses are operating at their peak; when you’re present in the current moment; when you’re resonating with the excitement of this thing that you’re experiencing; when you are fully alive.”
—Sir Ken Robinson
There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush at the onset of a brilliant story. Writing brings us into a world of creativity, full of whimsy imagination that expresses our intellect in profound ways.
One of the main reasons why writers write is because they need to release this beautiful energy. Bottling it up is like putting a stopper on a volcano.
To Gain Recognition
The ego is a strong motivator, especially for writers; many authors want to be inspired by their success and the praise they get from the world. Not everyone wants to be the next Stephen King or George Orwell, but many do.
To Influence the World
You may have heard the classic phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Well, it’s true; a written piece can alter history and modify how the world sees itself—especially with religious prose.
Others, like news companies, can control how the public is informed on local, national, and world issues. When you think about it from that perspective, that pen is sounding quite powerful.
To Explore Life Itself
Since time immemorial, storytellers and philosophers have addressed the meaning of life and what gives humanity purpose. Writing is a therapeutic exercise that allows the mind to explore reality around us.
Writers attempt to tackle many of life’s questions, hoping to inspire others in the process. In this way, writing is more of an altruistic ritual for empowering humanity. See this recent article on the Hero’s Journey for more information.
To Make Money
There’s nothing wrong with writing to put food on the table. Many people use writing as a second job to supplement their main income. Writing can be a fun and immersive hobby, and making some money while doing it is certainly appealing.
That said, writing isn’t very rewarding. Most writers get paid little each month for their publications. There are those that defy the odds and become rich, but that isn’t the typical scenario.
—Why I Write—
How did I start as a writer? What interests me and motivates my writing sessions? In this section, I’ll elaborate on these questions. The answers should give you a different perspective to reflect on—and some of them might surprise you!
How I started as a Writer
I never planned on being a writer, the art gradually crept up on me in my adult years. During my childhood, I was into roleplays, which were short stories co-authored with friends.
My dad owned a small library of science fantasy books, which I consumed voraciously. Science fiction and fantasy were my favorite genres, but I also enjoyed romance, horror, and spirituality.
From the roleplaying forums that I had joined, I gradually developed a cast of original characters, plot themes, and mythical creatures. It went further and I designed a magical system, technology, names for races, continents, and planets.
The project snowballed when I was unemployed, bored, and depressed. I chose something that I could actively do myself, rather than relying on an email response from an IT company for a job while I sat at home.
My old roleplaying friends had also moved away from the forums, and I was left to my creative devices. Little did I know what the result would be…
Several months later after starting on my little project, I sat up from my computer chair, staring at a 300,000-word rough manuscript.
I couldn’t believe it, and I remember pounding the computer desk in disbelief.
I’d written something so extensive to be worthy of a trilogy, and I didn’t have any English college credentials! Talk about a wild trip into my imagination!
Since finishing the rough draft, I’ve reviewed my manuscript and discovered the horrors of rereading, rewriting, and editing out the myriad mistakes we humans continuously make in our work. Thankfully, the manuscript for book 1 has progressed significantly over the many grueling—yet fun—hours I’ve put into it.
I write to fulfill myself-—to release the creative demons that lurk within my heart. Every day they beg release. There is a warm satisfaction in finishing an article or writing/editing an original chapter of my novel. I cherish my characters and readers, considering them good friends.
I understand that writing is difficult, but so are many things in life worth doing. Writing, especially with my original series, fills me with a warm fulfillment that other pastimes do not. When I look back at my life, I’ll have no regrets working on Ethereal Seals, my blog, or any of my future projects.
Despite the struggles—as shared by many authors—, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it as an amateur writer and blogger, pioneering into my own creative world.
What is your spark? Are you also seduced by the rewards that creativity brings? Leave it in the comment below if you feel inclined. Thanks for reading everyone!