This article is part of Erin Harding’s Writerly Link Up series.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It sounds pretty pretentious, but asking me why I do what I do is like asking me why I breathe; I’ve been doing it for too long to stop now. That isn’t to say I don’t love writing. I do! But figuring out exactly why I do this thing requires a lot of soul-searching. For my first Writerly Link Up post, I dug deep inside and found fourteen reasons why I write.
1. I write because it’s my passion.
I love a lot of things, but writing is the one pastime that I’ve always loved. At times, it has been the most stressful thing in my life, but I never want to give it up. I know on what side my bread is buttered.
2. I write because it’s the one thing I’m really good at.
When I was a teenager, I used to cry because there was nothing I could do that my friends weren’t better at. I was always better than them at writing, but it took me almost a decade to figure that out.
3. I write because it brings me joy.
Putting words on a page is one of the best day-to-day experiences I have. Pressing the “submit” button when a post is finally done is the most rewarding thing I ever do. Like I said, I never want to be without that feeling.
4. I write because no one else can.
No one else can write my thoughts and stories. And no one will ever read the things in my head if I don’t make them available to the public. So I write, and I write well.
5. I write because I have something to say.
I don’t believe that writing is a field in which you can be insincere and be mind-blowingly successful. Since a successful writing career is my aim, every word I write means something to me. I can’t afford to have all my hard work collapse on the basis of lies or deceit.
6. I write because I don’t want to feel alone.
I grew up a pretty lonely kid. For a while, the Internet convinced me I wasn’t alone in feeling or thinking the ways I did. Even if I’ve had problems making friends online, I still believe in that ideal.
7. I write because I am alone.
With the thoughts in my head, that is. I bore people in my day-to-day life with many of the things I’m interested in. Writing here and elsewhere gives me the opportunity to flush out my mind.
8. I write because I read.
I’m in agreement with Stephen King on this one: you can’t be a writer if you don’t read. But I also believe that you can’t read and not be a writer. Even if you just tell stories to yourself in the bathroom or during your commute, you’re a writer.
9. I write because I love stories.
I think the reason I remained so interested in video games is because of their potential as a storytelling platform. I grew up on Mario and Extra Innings, but it was all over for me when I met JRPGs in middle school; I was hooked on the stories.
10. I write because I want to create something.
After I fell in love with the JRPG genre, I started trying to put my own stories on that platform. Unfortunately, none of my stories ever got out of development, but I’m still holding out hope that one day I’ll see my name when the credits roll.
11. I write because it’s my purpose.
I’m in my 20s, and I know what I’m supposed to do with my life. How many people my age can say that? I’m not trying to be egotistical, but I really do think it’s amazing to know where you’re supposed to be before you’re too far off the path to reach your goals.
12. I write because I have a voice.
I believe everyone’s story is worth sharing. My experiences are my own, and we’ve already established that I’m the only one who can put them down authentically. By telling my stories, I hope to encourage others to do the same. It enriches the writing pool!
13. I write because others need a voice.
Sometimes, writing is a civil duty. I don’t shy away from labels like liberal, feminist, and social justice warrior. I don’t always speak for others. In fact, I try not to. But I do listen to others with an open heart and mind, and I try to empathize. I would never dictate another’s experience, but I’m happy to distribute them.
14. I write because I can’t not write.
Writing is so closely tied to my identity that I can’t imagine who or what I would be without it. It’s my greatest love and passion. Trust me, I’ve tried to quit it for any number of other activities. But I always come back to it. I write because it is my perfect drug.
Why do you write? Let me know in the comments!