Why Should You Write?

Besides the happiness and personal satisfaction writing generates, you write to communicate something. You have something to say and your unique communication is unlike anyone else’s. In the final analysis, the success of the finished product (novel, textbook, article, etc.) is more or less proportional to the quality of your communication. How well did you create the scene in the readers’ minds? Did you stir their emotions, changing them forever? Did you make them believe that the world you created was actually a real place? When readers love your book, you know that you communicated to them, and you feel successful. When readers hate it, not so much.

During moments of inspiration, tapping away at your work in progress can bring you great joy, even exhilaration at times. There will also be times when you don’t feel inspired, but you should go ahead and write anyway. As authors, writing is our job, and like any professional we should train ourselves to push through our mental blocks and bad days. We learn to persevere and hone our craft to the polished brilliance it was meant to be. That’s the only way it’s going to get done.

I’ve found that the biggest obstacle to my success has nothing to do with the outside world, really. Some of those barriers might be valid too, but only in minor ways. The “it” reason I haven’t achieved my writing goals is that I underestimated the amount of work it was going to take. Call it a gross miscalculation of how much effort would be required to really do it. Realizing this has realigned my purpose in writing.

Several years after writing my first novel, I’m now aware of what’s wrong with it. It bears the scars of all my rookie mistakes, all the distracting descriptions of dialogue (“We’ll do it!” she declared excitedly.) and other no-nos. I could spend several paragraphs listing them out, but anyone who’s written a book knows exactly what I’m talking about. This isn’t something to lose sleep over. It’s not a crime to write a fiction novel that isn’t perfect. The point is, you will make mistakes, but you’ll learn from them and will come away with more ability, which can only be acquired by doing.

Why should you write? You should write because your communication and integrity matter. You should write because achieving your goals is more important than momentary setbacks. You should write because you have taste. Most of all, you should write because it’s what you want to do.

Quote by Ira Glass