Why do we write? Aren’t there enough stories in the world already?

I began the draft of this blog post a while ago, and just found the title again now, after, again, not having the time to get to anything literary.  I was obviously thinking of something deep and profound when I wrote this, and it has inspired me to try to answer the question posed now.

But I think that we firstly need to answer the question of whether or not we write to be read.  I have numerous poems and segments of pieces stashed away that I know will never show anybody, not because I’m embarrassed by them, or ashamed of them or their content, but because I wrote them for myself and I want to keep them just for me.

So then, why did I write them?

The truth to that question still eludes me really; but there’s something that I have inside that I just have to get out.  Now, it’s probably worth pointing out that a lot of my stories bear a lot of resemblance to reality: my reality.  And it’s also worth pointing out that at the time, I have no idea that they do reflect my life quite so closely.  So maybe I am really using writing to file away what has happened to me, (or to order as I’ve mentioned before), and to process it and chew it around a bit.

But there is another side to it all too, and that is in the language itself.  I can read about the most dull subject, but if it’s written well then it lifts my soul: the same is true the other way around too; I can read the most amazing story, but if it’s badly written I can’t take it in.  I think that it’s important to find the fantastic in the minutiae of life; if you can find the fantastic in that, then image how fantastic you’ll find the fantastic.

Really, all I know is that I write because I’m driven to.  I write because I’m in love with it. I write because I need to.  This may all sound obvious to some, and hopefully the other writers reading this feel the same way.  And there are a lot of stories out there, real ones, but the ones I write I can have some sort of influence over. Perhaps that opens up a whole new debate.

If anyone has a concrete reason as to why they write, (money excluded), then please let me know.

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6 Responses to Why do we write? Aren’t there enough stories in the world already?

  1. Dyane says:

    Hi there,
    I can really relate to what you wrote here, in that I (we) write because we have to. We love it and so have no other choice but to write. In response to your last line, I’m attaching a little essay I posted a while ago (that blog is no longer active but the link still is): http://droppedpebbles.blogspot.ca/2013/06/why-i-write.html

    Great post. I’m looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    • Thanks, man. I enjoyed reading yours too. Thanks for the link.

      • Dyane says:

        Oh no problem. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      • I did. And your experiences sound very similar to mine, really; I felt like I had bad schooling and just had to teach myself what I wanted to know. But I learnt how to write, because I wanted to. My bookshelf, and bedside table, are still full of english grammar textbooks and reference books, and I’ll probably always need to look up what lexical morphology actually means, but I’ll try to do my best, and I think most people who want to write have a similar experience.

        Nice one.
        Look forward to conversing with you some more.


      • Dyane says:

        Ditto, Rob. 🙂

  2. Huw Thomas says:

    No, Rob! There are never enough stories. There are always room for more (even if some sad so-and-so’s try to tell us that there are only so many ‘stories’ in the world (quest/redemption etc).
    Like you, I write because I have to. The stories are in there and if I didn’t let them out I’d explode!

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