Why *You* Write


Last Wednesday I posted about my reasons for getting my butt into a chair and why I write. I posed some interesting questions such as when does someone consider themselves a writer? I also wanted to know what you, the fantastic Copious Notes readers out there, thought about this topic. Boy did you guys comment!

I was so inspired by what you all had to say that I wanted to dedicate a post to you guys and feature your reasons for writing. I found everyone’s reasons really inspiring and also fascinating to read. Here’s some of the great things you guys had to say:

Auria Cortes was the first to chime in with “…but I do believe that a good story is a good story.”
And a good story doesn’t always make a good book. I bring this up because I beta read a book and the writer ask me if I liked the story. I did. The story was interesting. I told him that.
What I didn’t tell him is that the story doesn’t make a good book. It’s a good story to tell at parties (his book is based on true events).
Now you may ask why I didn’t tell him that it doesn’t make a good book. Fair question. Because that’s not my job as a beta.

Creative A let us all know his thoughts: I think the single best way to define a writer is that a writer writes. They keep at it. Maybe they stop for a while – a few months – a few years – but as long as they keep coming back, as long as they continue to feel that urge to write, they’re writers.
That’s what makes the difference. Desire + persistence.
I started writing because I wanted to read books that I couldn’t find anywhere. And then I kept writing because it was magical. Now I write because it makes me happy, and I can’t stop, and I feel this is what I’m supposed to do.

Colby Marshall came at me with I like Creative A’s description. I think a lot of people write, but not all of those are writers. I think it takes self-discipline and stamina to be a writer rather than if you just write as a hobby.

Steph rounded out the bunch with Once upon a time, I used to have the romantic definition of a writer in my mind’s eye. You know the one I mean, the man with unruly hair scrawling away at a piece of paper in a dimly lit, smoky room with his brow furrowed and surrounded by a silence so loud that he can hear what it’s saying. Nearby, a Persian cat sits oh-so-importantly on a ragged pillow amid several crumpled bits of paper and stacks of books.
Of course all that shattered when I became a writer and learned the business side of the profession. Really, to me, a writer is someone who sits on the sidelines of people but understands them enough to create whole new worlds around them.
I suppose that’s still a somewhat romantic view of the profession, but hey, I’m a struggling idealist. And I write because I choose to. If I ignore the stores I think of, I don’t think anything in me would die. It would just seek another creative outlet.

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  1. Butt in chair works like a charm- I’ve been at the beach since Saturday, butt in chair since its raining, and have written 10,000 words. I love it.

    • Aaron
    • July 3rd, 2008

    That is friggin’ awesome Colby! That’s a lot of words. Congrats.

  2. um…i believe my response to the question was that i write because i like to see my name on the cover of books.

    i mean really, does it get any more superficial than that? 🙂

    the quote credited to me was a side note i mentioned in the original thread.

  3. I really liked what Steph said. I think somewhere along the line, all writer’s go through that metamorphosis. And no wonder…every movie you watch with a writer in it, they are either famous and wonderful and churning out bestsellers, or drunken and raving and a complete tortured artist. You gotta wonder who writes such stereotypes. :p

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