Why Do You Write?

Don’t ever apologize for wanting to be published. You’d be amazed at how often I hear from would-be writers who say they just want to write for the sake of writing. “I don’t care if it gets published.” Then why not just talk? -Jerry B. Jenkins from this post

Recently I read this engaging post over at author Mike Duran’s blog, which he wrote in response to the above comment from author Jerry B. Jenkins. You should read Mike’s post, which gives some very good reasons to agree with Jenkins’ quote. As for my own opinion, I don’t necessarily disagree with having a goal of publication (since I’m published, that would make me a hypocrite), but I do think that when authors obsess about it, their writing suffers. 

Writing for the passion of writing is more important than getting published, and so I left this comment over at Mike’s Blog (He has a great author blog, by the way):

…Nothing is wrong with having the goal of publication in mind, but all too often aspiring authors – and even published ones – churn out work that would be much better if they were writing it just for the love of writing. When it’s just the author and the keyboard, I say go for the passion. Write for the love of writing first.

Write because a story must be told, even if it’s never going to be published. Does the work of every artist end up in a gallery? And what about drama? Certainly there are talented actors and actresses in Community Theater all across the country who aren’t seeking to be in a Broadway play, in a movie, or even to get paid. Practicing ones art for art’s sake can allow one to produce some wonderful works.

Ultimately, I’m sure there isn’t just one way to look at this. It depends on what motivates the writer, but I’m partial to the idea of being motivated first by the desire to write. I think a person stands a better chance at writing a great story if they write the story first because it must be told. Would a writer be willing to finish that novel if they knew it would never be published? A true writer, in my mind, would write it anyway.

So, what about you? If you are a writer, or if you practice any other type of art, what is your ultimate goal? What if you never reach it? Are you okay with that? Or will you throw in the towel?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


9 thoughts on “Why Do You Write?

  1. I love what Cindi S. says, “I write because I have to,” and Jackie’s, “I write because I love it.” When we are focusing on the fun of writing more than the publishing of it, we might actually write something worth publishing.


  2. I write because I have to! I love it! If I don’t write I am miserable!
    That said … I would love to be published. Caveat – I am published every week … in a newspaper. While that is good, I want more. I want what I say to have lasting value and reach as many of the right people as possible.
    I cannot think that God would have given me this gift without having a plan to have it do more than it is right now. Progress is held up by what often gets in my way – me.


  3. I write because I love it. It brings me closer to God in the process. I sacrifice a lot though to write, so one day I hope to get the nerve up to figure out how to get an agent interested in my stories.
    Tina, this is a beautiful blog.
    Thanks for sharing.


  4. I’ve always written in some way, shape or form. At a certain point, it seemed to be the natural next step to write a novel and try to have it published. I’ve accomplished that goal and continue to publish and I hopefully have a long journey ahead.


    1. Cindy: I also wrote, at first, because I loved it. There is something special about that time of self-discovery before pursuing publication. By the way, speaking of publication, thanks for donating your books to the Book Bash. Our Wyoming Women’s Author basket was very popular and it gave people an opportunity to see that Wyoming has some really good women writers.


  5. I am not a writter so to say .. I enjoy writting a poem from time to time it is a release for me at times ,Like when our daughter died and when I lost my mom .


    1. Kay: What a wonderful thing that writing has comforted you in such a sad time. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and your mom. Blessings to you, Kay.


  6. I write because I enjoy it. I do want to be published because I would love to have more time to write, and this would be made easier if I was being paid for my novels. Ultimately though I want people, not just myself, to gain from the stories I create. Whether they pay for it or not I do want to share my work and hopefully inspire new readers and writers. Writing has also become addictive and works to provide creative, mental and emotional catharsis for me. While becoming published is a recent goal of mine it’s not about that, it’s about passion. I agree with what you stated that when writers become bogged down in being published their writing often suffers.

    – Ermisenda


    1. Ermilia, I am so glad you write for the passion. Your work will be even better for it and then who knows? Publishing may come as well, but you will feel proud of your work no matter what.


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