Why do you write?
Founder of The Mindful Moment, Dr. Alexandra Domelle explores the reasons behind our desire to write and what compels us to keep going
“And there, hidden amongst the pages was a new world, waiting to be discovered.” - Alexandra Domelle
Why do you write?
For you, the answer to this question may be driven by need, compulsion or personal circumstance. For instance:
Do you write to inform or inspire?
Or is it to entertain or motivate?
Writing may be your form of escapism, of putting together the words of a ten-, twenty- or two hundred-thousand-piece puzzle that only you can complete.
It may be your way of exploring the vast galaxies of human emotion, unravelling the mysteries of the Universe and creating something extraordinary.
It may simply be the means by which you further embellish your glittering career that has already cemented your name as an artist, a creative or a best-selling author.
Regardless of your reasons, each answer is a story within itself, shining a light on your thoughts, your beliefs, and your ideas on who you think you are and your place in the world.
All writing carries within it a seed of intent. As a writer, this intent may or may not be clear to you at the outset. However, it remains present, woven throughout the story.
It is the reason behind your choice of words and their placement, the stops and starts, the twists and turns, from the moment the first letter appears on screen, until the last.
There is, of course, a point at which your intentions as a writer collide with the ever-present question:
Are you any good?
This query is at its core, of judgement; one that seeks to assess your story’s worth and is a matter of perspective.
Your success may be measured by any number of the following indicators:
• A book, magazine, journal or website accepts your writing submission.
• A literary agent offers you representation.
• A publisher offers you one or more book deals.
• You choose to self-publish your work.
• You receive positive feedback from your readers, fans and followers.
• You are approached by external groups, agencies or organisations and asked to write for them.
There may be other indicators that you could add to this list based on your experience, expertise and outlook.
Many of the answers or indicators that you generate rely on external validation, where an individual or group determines if your writing is of value.
Is there a point during this process where you would rely upon on your own judgement; a self-evaluation if you like, that gives weight to the value of your writing?
Or is it all about what others’ think?
And now, for the last question:
At what point would you call it quits?
You may have already formed your opinion on this, even before fully reading the question, intending to write all your life regardless of any changes in your circumstances.
Or perhaps, you have already set for yourself a 1 or 3 or 5 year plan to see if your writing opens any new opportunities, before exploring your other creative talents.
Is it the pursuit of a good story that keeps you writing or the lure of fame and fortune?
Is it the prospect of millions of followers or the chance to touch one solitary life?
Is it the fear that writing is the only thing that you are good at and it is better to stick with what you know than to risk it all?
There are no right or wrong answers.
What matters is you.
You are the one on the outside, looking in, and on the inside, looking out.
You are the one putting pen to paper, fingers to keys.
You are the one with the questions and the answers.