Why do you write?

A fair amount of books I’ve read lately are editions that have a timeline of the author’s life in the front and I’ve noticed that many involve the death of a parent or relative early on in life, and in some cases more later on too. I guess this just made me think more about how a writer decides to start writing and if it is really a choice.

The main purpose people associate with writing is that it gives you a chance to voice your own opinion – or maybe it’s just because you like books and want to write them yourselves. But I suppose if you’re a writer yourself you know it means a lot more than just that. Reflecting upon the fact that these writers had death in their early childhood, makes it hardly a coincidence that they all became writers. And that’s because writing, in a way, is a result of suffering.

I think that in some ways writing is a choice; at first you have to choose to start it – something that you’ve never done before – however I think that once you have written, it’s no longer something you decide to do. You write because you want to but you mostly write because you need to. How else do you escape your own mind?

Sometimes I go quite a while without writing, or I only write small pieces, and I wonder if I’m still the same writer I was at the start, when I used to write novels all the time. But I am, because I know that after a break I’ll always go back to it, because I have the urge to just get words down on a page. Blogging does this for me too, but creative writing does this in a different way. Ultimately I’m not the same writer I was when I was 13 because life changes you and it’s inevitable that that wouldn’t have an effect on my work, but it’s still coming from the same mind and the same source. If certain things hadn’t happened in my life maybe I wouldn’t be writing now and that’s kind of sad in a way, even if that life might have been happier.

That idea of sadness and happy is also something I’ve been thinking about lately. Can you be really happy with your life but also sad? Maybe this is something writers relate to more, who knows.

I guess to sum up this slightly jumbled post I should ask, why do you write? It would be nice to compare everyone’s reasons in the comments to see if any of this really is true.

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