Is Writing a Need — or a Desire?

Some people write not because they want to, but because they can’t resist the urge.

Sometimes, non-writers just don’t get it.

And after a while, their assumptions almost start to sound legitimate.

They accuse us of caring about our characters more than we care about real people so many times that we start to wonder if it’s actually true.

They scold us so many times for turning down invites to “real world” experiences that we actually consider just not bothering to keep in touch at all.

What non-writers fail to understand, most of the time, is that you don’t always actively choose to write in place of other activities. Often times, this just happens to you. You get an idea, “hear” a conversation, start contemplating a concept or question … and all of a sudden you have to drop everything and get to a keyboard, because your mind has started sprinting and there is only one thing you can do to stop it.

A lot of the time, you write because you feel like it. You’re excited, hopeful, motivated — even though there are other things you could be doing instead, other places you could be, people you could be with, you’d rather write.

These are beautiful, amazing times.

But sometimes, you write not because you feel like it, but instead because you need to. You feel pulled toward a story, drawn to the act of sitting in front of a computer screen or hovering over a journal and letting the words pour out of your soul.

Almost as if someone, or something, is calling your name. Begging you to put words to paper.

That does not mean you can’t control the impulse. It does not mean you hate writing, and only do it because you feel like you have to. It just means that sometimes, you won’t have much fun. Every now and then, you’ll end up turning down plans, skipping out on things because in the moments you feel drawn to your craft, it’s almost dangerous to say no.

Embrace both the fun times and the times of desperation. There will be moments you don’t want to write, and won’t. There will be moments you write out of excitement. But there will also be times you don’t want to write, but do it anyway, because there is no other way to satisfy the hunger to create something out of nothing more than an idea.

Writing isn’t always easy. But sometimes, it’s the only way to feel okay. To feel whole.

Having trouble getting your writing done? Here are my best tips to help you through it.

5 Things Killing Your Writing Productivity

You Don't Need Motivation to Write -- You Just Need Fewer Distractions

How to Stop Making Excuses for Not Writing

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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6 thoughts on “Is Writing a Need — or a Desire?

    1. Same! I’m personally also really glad I’m done with school, because there’s nothing worse than getting an idea in the middle of a lecture and not being able to pay attention for the rest of it. haha.

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