I have been reading a lot of writing blogs lately, as well as comments posted on those blogs by wannabe and somewhat successful writers. (Really successful novel writers, I noticed, post little online. They must be saving every word for their publishers.)
Naturally, many post or comment about their reasons for writing. Most say that it’s for the love of the craft. Many write to remember and I can certainly understand that, because my own writing started with simple entries in a daily journal. I still have the journal and read it every now and then, wishing I kept it up.
Some writers think of their books as “messages in a bottle” or write to communicate with the larger community. Some do it for self-awareness, others to understand the world. Some even claim they would stop breathing if they were to stop writing (I assume a YA writer). Only one so far admitted that it was all about the money.
I became so fascinated with this topic, while procrastinating away valuable writing time, that i even googled “why i write”. (I know, it’s an OCD). Turned out it’s a George Orwell essay, in which he talks about the four “great motives for writing”, which are ego satisfaction, the pleasure of making up something beautiful, or a historical or political need.
Surprisingly, none of the bloggers (so far) or even Mr. Orwell have mentioned my main reason for writing. For me personally it’s being able to say, under pretence of writing fiction, everything I wish I could say in real life. Simple things, like telling my boss what I think about his brilliant new idea and where I think he should put it. Calling an ex-boyfriend and saying, “it wasn’t me, it was you”. Yelling “shut up!” at someone on the train who believes in letting everyone in on his phone conversation. My protagonist gets to do those things.
Oh, and I wish I could admit that I’m in it for the money. It’s okay, my protagonist will.