35 Reasons to Write (or, Why We Do What We Do)

Every day I post a new quote about writing. The quotes come from famous screenwriters, novelists, poets, and each writer has different ideas about the craft of writing. But there’s one thing that they all agree upon: Writing is hard work.

No one gets into this gig because they think it will be an easy way to turn a quick buck (or if they do think that, they’re quickly corrected.) So why do we write? What could possibly possess us to sit down in front of our laptops or notepads and suffer day after day?

There’s no single reason, and your reason might change from project to project. Whatever you’re working on today, if you’re having trouble getting motivated, here are just a few reasons to push forward.

Reasons to Write

  1. Because someone’s paying you to
  2. Because no one has paid you to yet, and you’d like that to change
  3. To get better at it
  4. To share your story
  5. To exorcise your demons
  6. To express an opinion
  7. To prove something to yourself
  8. To explore a new idea
  9. To see what you’re capable of
  10. For those rare moments of genius that surprise even yourself
  11. To finish a draft
  12. For that moment of feeling completely satisfied with what you’ve finished, if only for a moment
  13. So that you can start rewriting
  14. For the praise of others
  15. For respect
  16. For self-respect
  17. For the elation of finding the perfect word or crafting the perfect scene
  18. To make someone laugh
  19. To make someone cry
  20. Because language is a wonderful thing to play with
  21. So you have something to show when someone asks what you’re working on
  22. Because it’s therapeutic
  23. Because it’s rewarding
  24. Because you call yourself a writer
  25. Because you’re an artist, and try as you might, you can’t change that
  26. Because you can do better
  27. Because that villain you dreamed up needs a hero to fight
  28. Because you had an experience that needs sharing
  29. To honor someone or something you love
  30. To tear down something you despise
  31. To make the world a better place
  32. To make a hefty pay check
  33. To play out your fantasies
  34. To have an adventure
  35. Because you can’t imagine any pursuit more worthy of your time, energy, and creative power

This list is far from complete. Share your thoughts in the comments: What are some of the reasons why you write? 

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