Why Do You Write?

I recently attended a writer’s conference in which editor and author, Lisa Mangum, taught a class about writing the first draft. But before she even started, she asked this question:

Why do you write?

Not what or how or where – why?

About six months ago, I struggled. I worked through personal trials and work trials and so many things that were stacked against me. Frustration and sadness and jealousy visited often and I truly wondered what I was doing.

But after these emotional surges (and usually something chocolatey) I always, always, always went back to the writing.

Because though I know in my heart that I long to be published, the simple fact is that I have stories within me that I want to tell. I have a longing for creating words, and working on this craft fills my soul. It’s a rejuvenating act, something that nourishes my spirit. And when I’ve had a frustrating day, I find myself drifting toward my laptop, the story I want to tell, the characters I want to create.

So how did you answer the first question? Really think about it, really understand your answer, and then know this:

YOUR ANSWER IS THE RIGHT ANSWER.

To find satisfaction in this creative pursuit, we have to
  • Find your own goal
  • Define your own success
  • Climb your own mountain
This isn’t something that a craft book can teach us. This isn’t something that can be found in a writer’s group. This is the kind of thing that each of us, as writers, needs to discover for ourselves. We need to take the time to look inside and determine why we take time, make sacrifices and gravitate toward our words. We need to understand this pursuit, and everything it entails, acknowledge that, like anything else in life, there will be ups and downs. And we need to determine why we are writing – and then own it. 
Self-publication? Own it.
To tell a story? Own it.
Because the act of creating makes us happy? Own it. 
Why do you write? 


_________________________________________

Tasha Seegmiller is a mom to three kids and high school English teacher in Southern Utah. She writes contemporary women’s fiction with a dash of magic. Her loves include Diet Coke, owls, chocolate and cinnamon bears. She is the managing editor for the Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly newsletter.

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