There will be days when no one, not even you, will believe you are capable of being a professional writer, let alone making anything of yourself. So I ask you seriously for a moment, Why do you write? What motivates you? It’s probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself as a writer. The days when you think your writing is drivel, pedantic, and immature, those are the days knowing your answer will matter the most.
I’ve heard stories of people who wake up in the night, soaked in sweat because they can’t sleep another minute without writing down the dream or idea they just had. I’ve heard of brains so full of stories the person can’t function without writing it down every day, notebooks filled each week. But does writing notes equate to being a writer? Is that enough? A common answer I hear for why people write is simply because. Or it’s like breathing, I have to do both to survive. (I’ve said the later myself) But is that enough? Do you have the commitment to see it to the end? Talking about something and actually doing it are, after all, two different things.
What happens when a family member or friend tells you all the hard work and hours or years you’ve seemingly wasted was for nothing? That your writing was boring or the story was atrocious, you’ve got holes in your plot? When rejection letters pile up? What about when the voice in the back of your head nags that you’re not good enough? Not everyone will believe in your writing. Doubt will seep in from strangers, other writers, family, and friends. It will poison your blood and eventually your heart. It’s in these dark hours that you need to be able to answer the question, why do you write, more than any other time.
While there are a million reasons why people write, here are some of the more common ones. We write for others. We write for the sake of the story. We write for ourselves. We write for beauty’s sake. We write because of grief. We write because of the psychological benefits. And sometimes we just write for fun. At the end of the day we all have different reasons and the possibilities are endless. We write because we have to. But here’s the catch, whatever your reasoning is, make sure you know and your willing to see it through to the end. Otherwise, move on and find something easier to do. Your life will be filled with far less heartache and headache. If you, however, are like me, then sit down because you’re in for the long haul. Make that list and remind yourself every day why you do this crazy thing called writing.