Why do I write? That’s a really good question.
In his book On Writing, Stephen King wrote “Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.” I think that holds true for why we write, not just how.
So, why do I write? I don’t think there’s a single, simple answer to that.
Partly, it’s the same joy of creation that every artist experiences. There’s something wonderful about telling a story, and hoping that other people will enjoy it as much as you do. About creating characters you love and hope others will too.
And there’s the challenge of it. Anybody who thinks that writing anything (poetry, short stories, novels, you name it) is an easy thing to do – I’ve had people tell me “All you have to do is sit there and type. Anybody can do that.” – needs to have their head examined. Or, better yet, try it. Setting aside how difficult it can be to build the structure of a complete and coherent story, it is incredibly hard to populate a story with characters and events which are engaging and interesting.
Sometimes I write to get something out of my system. Writing can allow me to vent a frustration or fear, or even help me work out a problem that I can’t get off my mind.
Also, frankly, it can be a compulsion. I feel a genuine need to write, to sit and put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking, these days). Whether it turns out to be good or not, I enjoy it. I just hope people enjoy reading it!
But whether they do or not, whether my work finds an audience or not, I love writing. So I’ll keep writing. Even if I don’t completely understand why myself.