For some of us, writing is just one of many activities we enjoy; for others, it’s the most important one. Its importance and priority in our lives may change as we deal with other things—like family issues, jobs, or health problems—but since what we write is directly related to why we write, I think it’s important to figure out the reason(s) we write.
Some people write (in no particular order):
1. because they have a story inside them that they feel the need to share with others.
2. because they have a message they think others need to hear.
3. because it makes them feel better to write down what they are thinking, feeling, or dreaming about—regardless of whether or not others read it.
4. because they think it will provide them with money, recognition, or both.
5. because they have to (I hear this one a lot, but I’m not exactly sure what it means).
If our writing fulfills the purpose we have in mind, I think we can consider ourselves successful whether or not our work is published.
This quote by William Faulkner sums up why I write:
I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.
Why do you write? What reasons can you think of besides the ones I’ve listed? Where does writing rank on your list of priorities? How do you measure success?