Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why Do Writers Write?

I don’t why other writers write, but I can tell you why I do. Once, I started on this path, I found I couldn’t quit, and I tried. Every time I received a rejection letter from submitting my work to an editor or agent, I wanted to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Always, I promised myself I would never write another word.

After a month, two, or three, I would start writing all over again, and then I became a contest junkie. At first my scores were low, then they started edging up and I would think I’m on my way. The last contest I entered, I received three good scores and one really bad one, and that was the last time I entered a contest. It’s depressing to get a rejection letter, but it’s equally so when you fail in a contest. Sometimes the judge tells you why, and if the other judges do not say the same thing you’re wondering who is right. Each and every time, I’ve wanted to quit, but I can’t.

Peter De Vries:
“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”

Love is too strong a word for me to use. I really have a love-hate relationship with writing. I can’t stop writing. When my writing is going smoothly I love it, but when it’s not I hate it.

Many writers think they’re going to make big bucks. What they don’t seem to know, but soon learn is that it may take years to get published, and then it takes a long time to build your readership. Most quit when they learn they can’t just sit down, write a book and sell it.

Frank Herbert:
Money to a writer is time to write.

The only reason I write is because I can’t stop. Money isn’t a motive, or I would have stopped long ago as I haven’t made any yet.

Laurel Goodman:
If they didn’t pay me, I’d do it for nothing.

Fortunately for me, I’m retired and receiving a pension and social security, and my husband is, too. For that reason I do not have to make a living writing, but it would sure be nice to make some money for so much effort.

Irving Wallace:
Even if I could not earn a penny from my writing, I would earn my livelihood at something else and continue to write at night.

I spent many years writing while I worked for a major airline. It wasn’t easy, but I still finished several books.

Louis Untermeyer:
Write out of love; write out of instinct; write out of reason. But always for money.

Why do you write? I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Have a good week.



Anonymous said...

Great post, Sandy.

I write as a form of therapy. It generally calms me and takes me into my own world even for an hour. I don't have to write to make a living either, so I do it because I enjoy it and want to do it.

Liena Ferror

kt bishop said...

Even when I finished one manuscript and turned it in, I felt lost. Some people say take a few days off or week before re-starting. I can't. It's become addictive.

Carol said...

Sandy, I write because first of all, I love to read and I want to create stories for people to enjoy just like my favorite authors have created worlds for me. I also write because for as long as I can remember, I've had an incredibly active imagination. I have stories, scenes, dialogues, and characters running through my head all the time. Even before I sat down and actually started writing, I was conjuring up stories in my mind. It soon became clear to me when I was a kid that not everybody had this going on in their heads!

Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Liena.

Even though, I don't make money with my writing, I hope to some day.

Sandy said...


I totally understand. Writing is definitely addictive.

Thanks for your comment.

Sandy said...


Great comment. I read a lot, too, as a kid but it was to get me to far away places.

J Hali said...

If I didn't get it all out of my head and on paper, I'd be a mess. LOL I love creating a character to see where they'll take me! I've visited places, seen so many things through their eyes. And I want to share it with others.

Great post, Sandy.

Sandy said...

Thanks, J Hali,

I know what you mean. I've been thinking about next week's blog, and I have a subject brewing in my head that is going to be controversial, so I expect a lot of comments.

Sunny Lyn said...

I've wondered if I just like getting paid for lying (which is what a friend's daughter said about her to her 3rd grade class - the child was asked what her parents did for a living, and the girl said her mom lied...when quizzed she said "well, she tells stories").

I'm too old, tired, and clumsy to do much else, too - lol.

Good post, girl. :)

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Great post, Sandy.

I write because it's an outlet for me, for my extra energy, for my overactive imagination, an escape from my reality because then I get to live the life of others too and I know of no better high really. I too don't need to write to make a living, and I want to do it mostly to share my stories with people and make them happy. Lol, of course, some money coming in wouldn't hurt either, but that's not the first aim.



Sandy said...

LOL That's a great comment Sunny. I never quite thought of it that way.

In my stories, I mix the truth with the lies. Smile.

Sandy said...

Z, you have plenty of energy to go around. It's too bad you can't some with me.

You're a lovely writer and you'll make plenty of money at it one day. In fact, Reed might get to retire. Smile.


Miss Perky

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Sandy,

Great post! I definitely have the love/hate thing going. Somedays I wish I could just walk away from it, especially since my dh and I are supposed to be retired. But the stories in my head won't let me. And I love writing, The End.

Sandy said...


We both have the same problem, but once you start it's not easy to walk away.

Hang in there.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

Chiron said...

Hi Sandy,

For me writing was first and foremost about communication, which may be why my first publication success was with articles and a weekly column. The desire to write fiction bloomed out of a motivation to create worlds. I'm still working on that one. *grin*

Great post and how could I not love the title?

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

Donna Marie Rogers said...

I just love to write, which is why I've been so frustrated lately. LOL But as soon as conference is done, I'm getting my butt back in gear (and catching up on my reading, too. ;-)

Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the title. I started writing because I had things to say and no one willing to listen to me. Grin.

Sandy said...


Whenever, I'm away from writing very long, I get irritable.

Enjoy the conference. You worked hard for it.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Sandy, writing does wonderful things to the soul. it's about the process, and if the process leads to good things, all the better! -laura hogg

Sandy said...

Thanks, Laura, for stopping by.

Yes, writing does that and more.

Linda LaRoque said...

I write because it's good for my soul, it's a creative outlet, and good therapy. I've spent more money than I've made, but maybe one day I'll break even. Regardless, I'm having fun and it's good for me.


Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by.

I know all about having spent more money than I've made, but one day I hope to make more than I spend.

Anonymous said...

I'm a terrible dancer, and offkey singer, but a pretty good writer. So that's what I do! But I'm also an awful sluggard submitter! Gotta change that!


Sandy said...


Yes, you've got to submit. My mantra for you is submit. Submit. I want to see the Grandma Spy book in print.

Thanks for stopping by, Pet.