Monday, January 30, 2012

Dear Reporter: Why Write?

We writers don’t write for the money.

We write because we have this need to write. Because there are voices in our heads that need to come out, to come out on the page, to work through things, to find out ‘what if’ and ‘and then what happened?’

We write because writing is necessary, like breathing. We get a physical urge to write. We write because we must. We must to go on, to cope with the day to day, to cope with the big stuff that happens. What if this happened? What if that? We write because we cannot do otherwise.

If we wrote for money, the hourly rate resulting from the calculation of the hundreds of hours of labor that go into a novel divided by the small amount of money (if any) we receive for our efforts would be an amount much smaller than one cent.

We write because this urge overwhelms us and we stop resisting. We follow it.

We must write.

And when others ask with their smug smiles when we’ll be published, or when we’ll be on the best seller lists, we respond with smiles that not all needs are obvious.

We write because life is better for it.

Addison James


M. L. Archer said...

I write, read it over and think, "Yeah, you really are crazy."

Mike Hays said...

Well said!

Wendy said...

Good points!

If I was paid for the amount of time I spend thinking, I'd be very wealthy, and even more so if someone paid me for the excuses I find for not writing.

I guess this is proof that money won't make you happy, because I'm a pretty miserable person when I'm not writing.

Marian L said...

So true, I write because I have to--the voices won't be silenced until they hit the paper. Happy Writing, Marian

Pat Dale said...

I couldn't have said it better, but in a few days I'm going to have to try. You set a high bar in explaining the writer's life. It's a lonely one but well worth the living.