Why Do We Write?

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I once kidded my family that “books are what I have instead of a life.” Of course, this is a gross exaggeration, but it kind of hits on why we write.

Writing is a brutal, heart-breaking business. If you doubt that, just read Larry Brooks’ latest post, “Help Wanted: Hiring Fiction Writers Now” on his web site, http://StoryFix.com.

So why do we do it? I like Dwight Swain’s answer in TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER:

“The writer seeks a larger world for himself. Because The World That Is can never be quite large enough to suit him. Hemmed in by reality, he feels restive, no matter how ideal his situation may appear to another eye. A rut gilded, to him, still remains a rut.

So a writer seeks a way of life, and that way constitutes its own reward. Once let a writer recognize this and understand his own dynamics, uncertainty and self-doubt fade. He won’t have to kid himself about fame or money or independence. He’ll build larger worlds of his private choosing and live content.”

Sounds good to me.

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