Another top ten post! Yay!
Now all you writers out there… why do you do what you do? What makes writing so rewarding? Why do we dedicate so many hours to type words onto a screen that hardly anyone will ever read? If writing is so difficult, as we often lament, what drives us to keep going?
Most of the time, we are all Chuck….
…And occasionally we feel like this:
…but those moments are few and far between.
Allow me to list the reasons I love writing in spite of its unending difficulty.
#10: Receiving Positive Feedback/Reviews
Who doesn’t love being praised for their hard work? Even if just one person says they love something I wrote, that can be enough reason for me to continue.
The highs of receiving Validation can be short-lived, however, due to the constant battle of “Am I good enough?” vs. “Am I not good enough?” in my subconscious… so this aspect of writing falls at #10 on my list.
#9: Starting Something New
I know many writers loathe the dreaded Blank Page, but I love it. I love when I get to start something new — whether that be a story, novel, or chapter. Perhaps it is the orderly side of me, the same side that loves opening a new shampoo bottle after using the last drops of the old one. The blank page is a clean canvas, and I have all the colors aligned in my head. I love playing around with the “hook” and opener until I feel like I get it right. Starting something new and fresh is exciting. It’s a new adventure every time. Even if I have the ending planned in advance, the story’s direction is usually a mystery to me, and I love watching it gradually unfold on the page.
I don’t know if all writers do this, but I find writing can be comparable to acting. Even though I am not physically acting out a scene, I do it in my mind as I write. I love this part — the pretending to be someone else and vividly imagining yourself in a situation you may never confront in real life, or even a situation you have confronted before. I especially love pretending to be powerful characters, as it has always been a fantasy of mine to possess powers of my own.
When I “pretend” to be a character I created, I am also asking myself a lot of questions about who I am and how I would act. Different sides of my personality come to the forefront for me to explore. I have learned much about myself this way.
Speaking of learning about oneself, writing can also be a form of self-therapy. I write sci-fi/fantasy, mostly, but I have found writing to be therapeutic at times. This is why I will always write stories that uplift in the end; real life is too harsh and difficult for fictional tragedies to entertain me. I want to put a book down feeling as though the world is better than it may appear on the surface. When I explore certain topics, behaviors, or philosophies as a writer, the knowledge I gain does not just benefit my story, but my day-to-day life as well. My favorite theme, a.k.a. the oldest theme known to mankind, Good vs. Evil, will forever be my favorite theme because I have never heard a more uplifting message than, “good will always triumph over evil.” This is a message I will continue to convey in my writing for my own benefit and, hopefully, the future benefit of others.
This may not apply to all writers, as not all writers are introverts, but I am extremely introverted. Therefore, the seclusion as I am writing is one major reason I love writing so much. I know it sounds terrible, but as you may be aware, being around people is much more energy-draining for introverts than for extroverts. I have a very small Social battery that runs low within an hour of mingling — so having the excuse that “I’m a writer and need to be alone so I can write” has and will continue to be a huge relief for me.
I love planning a story. It involves writing ideas down, composing an outline, devising new story ideas and plot twists, etc. Brainstorming and plotting are incredibly exciting activities for me. I love taking the ideas I form from daydreaming and putting them together like a massive, ever-shifting puzzle. During this phase I’ll achieve a glimpse of how my story might look once it’s written, like a hazy image imprinted on the mind after a memorable dream.
Daydreaming comes at #4, above Brainstorming/Plotting, because it takes very little effort. Daydreaming breathes life into my story long before it is fully-formed on a page. I have a graphic imagination, so daydreaming can feel almost like watching a movie. On a whim I can imagine I am standing on the edge of a high tower, overlooking a lush kingdom, when a ruby-scaled dragon soars past the burnt-orange sunset and lands behind me. The surface below my feet vibrates under the beast’s weight, and its breath warms my skin and ruffles my hair. Its neck stretches tall, casting a heavy shadow over me as I stare, heel backing over the edge of the cracked stone. From there I can imagine the sensation of falling, weightlessness, and my brain will beat its massive wings and catch me before I hit the ground, forcing me to answer questions like: How did I get here? Where am I going? Who am I? As I answer these questions, a story might be born… or the dragon will take me to the clouds, where I will lose sight of purpose and float in the blissful fluff until I “wake up.” Either way, daydreaming is great.
World-building is fun because this world is awful, and I’d like to get off.
#2: Creating Characters
When real people let you down, you can always imagine fake people and make them fight for entertainment.
I tend to fall in love with my characters, so this easily fits into the #2 slot for me.
FINISHING SOMETHING IS THE BEST. It can be a single scene, a chapter, or an entire book — if I simply manage to complete Something in the day, I am a happy camper, like this stupid post, for example. 🙂 Finishing a book, though, is truly something to keep writing for.
So why do you write? What compels you to sit at your computer or on your couch with a notebook and jot down a story? Spill your guts in the comments! 😉
Have a great weekend!