“A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.”—Samuel Johnson
How Do You “Write” Success?
Most good writers are driven to write. It doesn't matter what the message is; inspiration becomes an inner compulsion that cannot be satisfied until it is released. One ancient sage described his inspiration as words like a burning fire in his heart, shut up in his bones, and he could not keep them inside no matter how hard he tried. Does that describe you?
The simple answer, then, to the question, "Why write?" is "I have to; I can't help it." But there is another angle to the same question. Why write? You may be driven to write, but why? What is your personal motivation? What objective do you have in mind? Aside from the inner drive, writers write for many different reasons. What's yours?
Self-expression. The satisfaction that comes from indulging your creative impulse. This alone is a perfectly legitimate reason for writing, even if no one else ever sees what you have written.
Self-understanding. Recording your thoughts and feelings regularly in a journal may help you know yourself better and can even help you process traumatic experiences. Journaling can be good therapy.
Instruction. Do you have skills or knowledge that you want to pass on to others?
Persuasion. Do you write to sway the opinions and beliefs of others?
Entertainment. Does your mind burst with stories you want to tell for the enjoyment of others?
Make money. Is it your dream to make a living with your writing or would you be satisfied with a little supplemental income? Making money is certainly a legitimate reason for writing as long as it does not cause you to compromise either your craft or your character.
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