It Doesn’t Matter Why We Write by Tiffany A White

We all write for different reasons.  Maybe we write to tell a story, or to stop the voices bickering in our heads (writers understand that phrase; non-writers want to admit us to the mental hospital).

But guess what?

It doesn’t matter why we write.

Yes, I really said it.  I’ll say it again to hammer my point across: It doesn’t matter why we write.

Okay then, crazy Tiffany, what does matter?

All that matters is that we simply write.

That’s it – just write.

So, now we’re writing, but what inspires us to write? What lit that spark underneath our derrieres and continues to provide us with the gasoline to sit down every day, or however often, and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?

As writers, we all have a story to tell.  That’s obvious.  But, let’s be honest now – most of us want to be the next bestseller with dreams of huge royalty checks rolling in.

That’s never going to happen.

Wait, let me finish: That’s never going to happen if we don’t write; if we don’t make writing a habit, a regular routine, a part of our daily lives.

It all started for me in high school English class.  Everyone remembers reading the literary greats, and then writing papers discussing the works, being sure to include the rising action, critical plot points, climax, and denouement.  Right?

Well, I actually liked writing papers – so much so, that I helped write quite a few of my friends’ papers.  Shhhh, don’t tell my teachers!

Also in high school, and already addicted to television, I recall waiting anxiously for those made-for-TV two-hour movies to premier on Sunday nights.  Remember those?

Next began my obsession with true crime cases.  Most of the two-hour television movies were inspired by or based on actual events.  So naturally, feeding my television addiction, I began watching forensics programs, real-life mysteries, cold cases, etc.  The A&E channel was my pseudo-best friend in college – you know, the friend that didn’t get me in trouble by taking me out to the bars instead of studying (love you, girls!).

Finally, I discovered Lifetime Movie Network.  Gold Mine!  LMN televised so many of those two-hour movies I relished in high school, and even more that I’d never even heard of before – some adapted from novels, some completely fictional, and others inspired by or based on actual events.

I’d sit and watch the movies, solving the crimes along the way, and think to myself: I can do this!

I still do, by the way.

So, here I am today, doing exactly that.  I’m telling my crime story by way of a Young Adult novel, with ideas and characters bouncing around in my head for my next book, and then the next.

And do you know what? Writing makes me feel good.  I had a friend say that creating something makes her feel good inside.  She says there’s a strength that comes from creating something, and no one can take that away from her.

I think she’s on to something here.  When we create something good, don’t we want to keep doing whatever it was that made us feel good about ourselves?

The point of the Round of Words in 80 days is to set goal-driven writing, reading, and editing goals. It doesn’t matter what our goals are, just that we’re striving for greatness – making us feel good about ourselves.

Many of us participating in Round 3 also stop by the #MyWana group on twitter.  Our number one goal in #MyWana is to express to one another that We Are Not Alone.  We are not alone; we’re all on this writing journey together.  And guess what?

Even bestselling authors have been in our shoes.  Every author starts writing with the fear that no one will want to read their work or that their work won’t be good enough for publishing.  Every writer gets stuck with writer’s block and needs encouragement to keep going.

Remember to encourage each other.  Cheer each other on. Wave your pom poms (red and black preferred).

Another good friend once said, “There’s something uplifting about knowing there’s nothing magic to being published – it’s just “butt-in-the-chair-‘ness’.”

It doesn’t matter why we write; all that matters is that we just write.

 Butt-in-the-chair + Fingers-on-the-keyboard = Imagination Greatness.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. –Calvin Coolidge

Do what you love and follow your passion. — Ray Bradbury

Why do you write? What inspires you? Do you have any quotes that you’d like to share?

~*~

Tiffany A. White

11 comments

  1. Why do I write? You know, I’ve never really thought about it. It’s just something I’ve always done. I remember writing a story on index cards about a girl named Angel. I was so young at the time that I didn’t spell Angel correctly. It was “Angle”. LOL So I guess it’s just that there are stories in my head that want to get out. There always have been.

  2. My impetus for writing has shifted a great deal over the years. As a child, I wrote silly stories with friends for fun. When I reached my angsty teenage years, I wrote for survival — words became my only means to express myself and all of my tempestuous emotions. Later, I wrote as a means of envisioning my future, writing self-insertion tales where I was the heroine with a brilliant career, a husband, and a brood of children.

    These days, my reasons have changed. I’m in the midst of reaching those life goals, and I’ve moved past the emotional rough patches in my life. I write to create and to express myself, but I need writing as much as I did as a kid. The need to give voice to the worlds in my head is something that’s never going to die. I try to remember this whenever I start to doubt my work, and it never fails to put things into perspective.

  3. Oh Tiffany, you know I can’t resist your posts, whether it’s inspirational or telling me what shows to watch. Thanks for your great post!!

    I write because if I don’t…the voices won’t go away🙂

  4. I took my own advice today LOL. and “butt-in-the-chair-‘ness’” got me 4600 words today: a short memoir, a short story, and four scenes in my novel. My Best Day Ever.

    Sage advice.
    Great post!!!

  5. I write because I love it. It doesn’t matter if I am writing a novel or a short story that will only be seen by my friends, I enjoy doing it. It opens the world of my imagination and let’s me go places I can normally only reach in my dreams. Writing is my sanctuary.

  6. Tiffany,
    This was really a great post. You’re right. We will never reach our dreams unless we are DOING. (And the encouragement doesn’t hurt ; that’s for sure)

    I write because my mind is always imagining stories. All kinds, too. I, like you, watched movie after movie, read thrillers, romances, adventures, crime dramas, and mysteries. And I loved them. I had always thought to write my own novel, and about a year ago, I started. Now, I’m editing like a madwoman for the nearing publish date of my first novel.

    It’s my first, so I have no delusions of grandeur. However, I do feel like a million bucks! I did it. I wrote a novel. I’m writing another one, too. There’s no satisfaction like the satisfaction that comes from setting a goal and reaching it.

    I found ROW80 two cycles ago, and it’s been the biggest help! I’ve met so many fellow authors who take the time weekly to stop by and encourage me on, read about my latest successes and road-bumps, and share their own. The accountability is just what I needed. Writing my posts twice a week makes me face where I’ve followed through and where I’ve missed the mark. It pushes me to reach for my goals. It let’s me know when I need to reevaluate.

    ~ Nadja

  7. I hated those required papers in school because I wanted to write my own thing! I always read voraciously and wrote snippets in journals, lyrics for songs, poetry, etc. I thought writing a book would be FABULOUS, but I didn’t think I had it in me. After reading a lot through the years, however, I began to think, “Hey, I could do this!” It was the butt-in-chair persistence that got the first manuscript done (a mystery), and now I’m on my second WIP (YA). Writing both brings out my strengths (creativity, organization, love of language) and challenges me (ah, you plot structure, you!). It’s one of the things that makes me feel more alive and more me.

    Great post, Tiffany! I love you shaking the proverbial poms-poms for us!

  8. Great post, Tiffany–sorry it took me so long to get here! I was thinking today about why I write (not that it matters, lol!), or really, the range of emotions I have about writing.

    There are things I write for the job that I have to force myself to do the butt in the chair thing while the clock slows to some sort of torture device; other things that are still academic but more interesting take some work to overcome inertia, but then something clicks (ooh, they thought that in the 14th century?), and off I go.

    The fun stuff? That’s like trying to cap a wellspring–it manages to get out and bubble all around no matter what. I can write all night and think I’ve spent an hour at it. It is sanctuary from and yet contact with the outside world. It is how I think through things. I love words and syntax and even grammar and punctuation!

    I only found ROW80 in mid-June, and have done so much more than if I had not joined. The community is beyond anything I expected–supportive and encouraging, even if red-and-black pom-poms are a no-no in my part of North Central Florida!

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Tiffany.

    Why do I write? I write because I can and, more importantly, because of the thrill I get when someone says, “That’s exactly what I needed to hear right at that moment.” (This has even happened when someone has re-posted one of my blogs. Is that cool or what?)

    That – and the bestselling author thing doesn’t sound too bad either. (grin)

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