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Why do you write?


For many (if not most) writers, making up stories is so much a part of who we are that we can’t imagine not doing it, but whatever the cause of our compulsion  we all want different things.

Me, I want to make a good living as an author, but not every writer wants to carve out a career for him/herself. 

Many folks are content with the idea of publishing a few stories in paying publications and perhaps, one day, a novel. Some folks write mostly for themselves, keeping their work hidden from all but close family and friends. Some bypass the publication progress altogether and try to reach a wider audience by making their work available online, for free.   

All of the above reasons are perfectly valid, but whatever our motivation, writers have one thing in common. We all love writing (most of the time).

How about you?

Why do you write?

 

Why do you write?

I want to make a career as a writer
22(38.6%)
I want to see my stories in print
6(10.5%)
I write for myself, anything else is a bonus
17(29.8%)
Something else, which I'll explain in a commentl
12(21.1%)



 


 



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Comments

( 81 comments — Leave a comment )
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ckastens
Mar. 13th, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
Mostly, I want to write things that people enjoy reading. That is the best return on my time investment.
Getting published means more people have access to that work.

I also like to have some financial return, but I don't ever think it will pay as a career.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Interesting. From what I understand, it's much harder to make a living writing short stories, as opposed to novels, but I think writers can earn money by other writing-related means. I imagine a well-published short story writer could do well on the conference circuit, for example.
lunalila
Mar. 13th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
I've been through the whole process.
When I was a teen, I started writing for myself. I couldn't help writing. I had to. It was who I was.
Then, at University I wrote to be read. Participated in a couple of literary magazines who didn't pay, but put your byline of course. And was happy with that.
Now, with an evil day job stealing more and more time from my writing I aspire to make a living of the one and only thing that keeps me awake till 3am. The thing I think of during my commuting hours, during the shower or while cooking dinner. I just can't help to write. I love doing it. And would love to have the liberty of writing all day long.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
I caught the writing bug late (I was already in my forties), so I skipped those first two parts and went straight for the 'I want to make a career as a writer' option, which is probably just as well, 'cause I've still got a loooong way to go.

Thanks for sharing, Anna :)
ex_naomi_ja
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
All of the above! I love writing, I love seeing my stories in print, and frankly, I can't imagine doing anything else anyway, so even if I was never published, I'd still do it.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Fair enough :)
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
Hehe :)
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Mar. 13th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
martyn44
Mar. 13th, 2010 09:49 am (UTC)
I have this virtual monkey that sits on my shoulder and he chatters and chatters and chatters if I don't write. The stories I write, I believe, are those that chose me to write them. Yes, I'd like to have a three book contract but if I've been writing this long writing the stories I have to write, regardless of who reads them, I see no reason to change now. I write 'em. That is the function. Everything after that is a bonus.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
I guess a monkey's better than a parrot, right? :)
jl_johnson
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)
I would love to make writing novels a career. Not sure how successful I'd be at it, but there's only one way to know, right! :D
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Absolutely!
norilana
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)
I write because I have something important to say. Or at least I think it's important. Otherwise, why bother? ;-)
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
Interesting. I don't think I've got anything important to say, I just want to entertain.

Thanks for the input, Vera :)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Mar. 13th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
debikm
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:53 am (UTC)
I could have used an 'all of the above' button;-). I do write for myself, to let these people that live in my head have an outlet, but in a perfect world, I would be a sucessful novelist and do this full time, instead of trudging to the salt mines five days a week.
phoenixfirewolf
Mar. 13th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC)
actually, I could have used an all of the above button too.
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Mar. 13th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Mar. 13th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
iamtheelfinpoet
Mar. 13th, 2010 10:56 am (UTC)
Hi Jon! This is a most excellent question and it's great that you ask.

To me every answer in your poll is valid. I respect each and every one of them. I write for myself but I also write for others. Do I want to see $$$, sure! who wouldn't?

And...

I will add that to me writing is a way for me to understand life, to cope, to heal. As much as I do enjoy praise I believe that what's most important is to use our gift to touch lives and to teach. I am sure you agree that we see too much bad writing published by the big houses and we are all shocked to see how things like a Harry Potter or Twilight could be popular. That's just wrong. So I would like to see my words making a difference and to reinforce long lost values and to empower our women and girls. I think that sums it up! :)

jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
I've not read Twilight, but I must say I enjoyed the Harry Potter books - especially the first four.
saycestsay
Mar. 13th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
Wait! You mean, there's an option? You could NOT write?

It's my preferred form of artistic expression; not what I do but who I am. I write for myself, written for publication, working towards a career. I could (not likely, but could) stop writing for publication tomorrow but I'd still write.

I'm fascinated that my psyche wants me to write science fantasy, though. I read widely and write in all kinds of methods/genres/voices, but the stories come to me as science fantasy. Hmm.

Thanks for the polls. They're always thoughtty.

jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Maybe that's the one you mosy enjoy reading.
clarionj
Mar. 13th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
I liked how you put it in the poll: I write for myself, anything else is a bonus. Yes, that's what it is. I'm glad to get published when I've written something, rather than have it sitting around in the dark, forgotten. It gives me some sense of validation and accomplishment to know someone else thought it was worth something. But I rarely write for an audience and I tend to get embarrassed when my work is ready by people I know. And fame? Yikes. I like my quiet world :)

jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
I don't want fame either, but the money would be nice :)
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
'Also if I don't write, I feel this urge to be writing that gets more and more irritating until I cave in and start writing again'

That's one insistent muse you've got there :)
jess_ka
Mar. 13th, 2010 12:16 pm (UTC)
All of the above, plus I can't stop, and it give me energy, joy, and happiness to do so.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
'All of the above, plus I can't stop'

Hehe, I like that answer :)
maryjdal
Mar. 13th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
I go back and forth - I wish I could make a career from it, but I am happy to keep at it regardless because I love writing. And it does become an itch if I don't.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I feel sorry for people who write because they think it's an easy way to make money. Sooner or later, they get a rude awakening.
phoenixfirewolf
Mar. 13th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
I want to make a career as a writer so I can devote more time to doing the things I love, mostly writing and riding my horse.
jongibbs
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Hopefully not at the same time, or you can expect lots of typos :)
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Mar. 13th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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