I guess today is ‘National Day on Writing’. On twitter people are talking about why they write on #WhyIWrite. A few days ago, as luck would have it, I was thinking about the reasons I write. I can’t par down my reasons for writing into one little tweet, so I am going to cheat and post my top five reasons for writing here.
1. I have always written
Well not quite always. I started fairly early though. I remember being at a friend’s house in grade nine and helping her write a story. The only thing I remember about the story is that the main character was a girl wearing a baby blue tee. My first long piece of fiction, started later that evening, was about a girl who lived with her mother and two sisters. The story was mostly about a boy she liked and wanted to kiss. I might still have it tucked away in a binder somewhere.
2. In a story I can experience things I never would in real life
I can’t actually travel in a spaceship, enjoy strange new planets, visit space stations, and be best friends with a green alien. I can imagine what it would be like to do those things and write about it though.
3. Writing fiction comes naturally
I remember in grade five being asked to write a story about my summer. I struggled with writing that short little tale about my summer vacation. The first time I tried I wrote about being at camp and floating in a life jacket down a river. That part was true. Then I was the size of a minnow and having great adventures. That part was not true. The truth was hard, but taking the truth and turning it into a fun story was easy.
4. Writing has introduced me to amazing people
For such a solitary activity writing has given me some amazing friendships. I am lucky enough to have a regular writing group to meet with for encouragement. Those same friends will sit with me over a hot chocolate to hash out the problems in a story arc or character. A few of them I can trust to read my work and give me an honest opinion without being unduly harsh or mean.
5. Writing is something I have to do
As much as I complain about finding the time and motivation to write, when it comes right down to it, it isn’t a choice. I have to write because I love to write. I have to write because it is a part of who I am. I have to write because the ideas need to be told, and I am the only one who can tell them. I write because writing gives me the freedom to be myself.
Why do you write?