Yesterday I had to ask myself a really tough question.
Why do I write?
It’s one of those back-of-the-mind questions you hope you never have to ask yourself, but somehow always end up asking anyway. On the surface, the answer seems obvious. I write because I’m a writer. But most of us weren’t always writers; we became writers.
Why? And more importantly, why are we, still?
I’ve really been struggling lately. I’ve been working on the same book for over three years, and even making daily progress, it’s starting to feel like it’s never going to get finished. Not only am I writing a book, I’m writing multiple articles per week, and trying to find a job, and trying to find freelance work, and trying to figure out why I haven’t given up yet.
Am I stubborn? Or do I love writing that much?
Yesterday, for the first time in three months, I didn’t write a single word of my book. I didn’t even make any edits. I opened the document, started at it, and closed it again. I just couldn’t. And I felt terrible about it. Like I was letting myself down somehow. That’s not a good feeling.
I was able to wake up this morning and write my usual thousand words and move on to other things, no problem. Did I enjoy it? Sure. Did I heave a sigh of relief when I was done? Absolutely. And I don’t feel very good about that. I feel like I’m forcing myself to write more often than I’m looking forward to it.
But sometimes you do have to force the words out of yourself, because the hardest part is starting. For me, every day is like starting over, and it’s almost never easy. I write, partly, because it’s challenging.
It’s hard for me to be honest with you guys when times get tough. But this blog isn’t about me teaching you how to write. It’s about me, a writer, showing you what it’s like to be a writer. It’s not just about sitting down and writing words, which come easily to a lot of us. It’s about making those words matter. It’s about turning ideas into words and words into stories and stories into pieces of thought-provoking substance other people can carry with them wherever they go.
So when I say I’m struggling, what I mean is, I’m right here with you. That’s why Novelty Revisions exists. To be here for you when you ask yourself the kinds of questions that change the way you think about what you’re doing with your life.
Why do I write?
I write because, honestly, I don’t always think what I have to say has much value. But there’s a chance someone else reading my words will think a little differently, and without even trying, I’m making a difference.
I write because, at some point, it became part of me, instead of just something I do.
I write because words amaze me. I love playing with them. Seeing what I can create with them. Seeing how they change the world, even how they change me.
This week’s question is straightforward, but that doesn’t mean its answer is. So tell me, Noveltiers.
Why do you write?
What does being a writer mean to you?
What do you hope to do with it?
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.