More importantly, why does anyone write?

One of the unique aspects of being human is the desire to communicate with others. With the development of writing the 15704ability to communicate with people overcoming the obstacles of time and distance was magically created. No other animal species has ever been able to duplicate this magic. With the development of the Internet the incredible ability to overcome time and distance became instant. We can instantly communicate with people in any part of the world on any subject. We can store our communications for future reference if necessary, and we can leave a legacy for those yet to be born.

Quite amazing when you think about it; and from the perspective of human beings inhabiting this planet even a few hundred years ago, almost inconceivable. And yet the question remains: why do we write? Why is communication so important to us?

We can always look at the basic communications needs related to financial goals. Communication allows us to coordinate, plan, and create. Such informational communications are a good reason to write. Communication about health, diet, exercise and related practical how-to topics seems obvious as well. But then we get to the level of entertainment.  There are a very small number of writers who write because they are paid large sums of money to write. This population is actually in the thousands not even the tens of thousands of individuals; it represents less than one tenth of one percent of one percent of ten percent of the human population.

So what about the rest of us? Why do we write?  And even those select few who have become mega-successful writers: why did they start writing and why do they continue once financial rewards are no longer motivators?

With a larger percentage of the population writing books than at any other time in history, I am going to investigate the answers to these questions with hundreds of authors and will be posting the results on this blog. The basic questions I will be asking are:

(1)  When and why did you start writing?

(2)  Why do you still write?

(3)  How has writing changed your life?

(4)  How important is writing related to the rest of your life?

(5)  As a writer what is the legacy you hope to leave behind?

In my own case I write primarily because I enjoy writing. I started writing as a teenager when my mother gave me a copy of the personal notebooks of the great French author and existentialist Albert Camus. I continue to write because I have had a fair amount of success as a novelist, and my readers have encouraged me to keep writing. I cannot say that writing has changed my life since I have written my entire adult life and cannot imagine what my life would be like if I did not. I guess I am saying that writing is my life. In that context writing is just as important, if not more important, than any other activity in which I am engaged.

As to legacy, I hope that I will have entertained and inspired my readers.  And if the future is as vastly different as it might be from what we have experienced in the last fifty or so years on planet earth, I might have provided an interesting, even amusing chronicle of the ideas and behaviors that occupied human beings in the latter half of the twentieth century and the first third or so of the twenty-first.

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2 Responses to “WHY I WRITE”

  1. Linda McNabb says:

    I write because my heart tells me to. No other reason, my vision is that it will be of benefit.

  2. Linda McNabb says:

    Thank you, Bill for sharing. I love Albert Camus. He said:
    “In the midst of winter I finally realized that I had in me an invincible summer.”
    One of my favorite quotes.

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