Ten Reasons to Write Fiction: Part 1

1175999_black_notebook_with_pencilIf you follow my blog on a regular basis, this post might have you scratching your head a little bit. I always say there is just one reason to write: FOR YOU. So, am I changing my perspective on this?

Not at all! The fact is, to say that you should be writing “for you” is a pretty large and encompassing blanket statement. And there are various reasons people pick up a pen (or sit down in front of a computer screen) to craft a story, and all of them allow them to find the act fulfilling. Here are some. If you agree or disagree, or have others to add, please do comment! I think this is a fascinating topic to start a discussion about. (Reasons 6-10 are coming tomorrow).

  1. YOU WANT TO LEARN. Writing a good novel–a novel that makes you think, and examine the human psyche, and do research on historical events or science or medicine–will teach you tons about the world. Even more than that, it will teach you about yourself. For me, this is part of it: I. love. learning.
  2. YOU HAVE A STORY INSIDE AND WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. The basic concept for a story just won’t let you rest. You have this idea, and you’re curious about the possibilities of where it might go, and you have to know how things shake out.
  3. YOU WANT TO KNOW THAT YOU’VE WRITTEN A NOVEL. Writing a novel is a common bucket list item and a genuine accomplishment that can bring us confidence and inspiration. In my mind, if all you want from the experience is to know that you’ve done it, and to be able to say that you’ve done it: well, that’s good enough. You’re writing for you.
  4. YOU HAVE EXPERIENCES YOU FEEL COMPELLED TO SHARE, FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS. We all face hardships. And when we overcome them, I feel that sharing the insights we’ve learned to help others going through something similar is a commendable impulse. Sometimes people fictionalize their experiences rather than write memoirs. That’s probably what I would do if I ever decided to write something about me and the losses and growth I’ve known in life.
  5. YOU WANT A DISTRACTION. We all need hobbies and “me time,” time to let the real world sit apart while we go someplace else. That hour or two a day of writing that belongs to you, alone, can be a real sanity-provider and emotion-stabilizer. I know from experience! When I was most miserable in Chicago I spent a lot of time in Herezoth.
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13 responses to “Ten Reasons to Write Fiction: Part 1

  1. I think you covered them all!

  2. catherinelumb

    I am taken with #3 – that was my reason for writing…I always said I wanted to write a novel and never actually wrote anything – until 2011 when I became ill and I needed a distraction (#5). Now I couldn’t imagine life without writing being a part of it.

    Love that all the reasons start with ‘You’ – very true.
    Take Care, Cat

    • thanks, Cat!!! I started them with “YOU” on purpose, so I’m glad you liked that. Writing’s always about the person writing in some way or other, after all.

      • catherinelumb

        I totally agree – have become much happier since I started writing again!

        Found your blog via Twitter: plan to go back and read a few oof your earlier posts – any refco

  3. catherinelumb

    Grrr – writing replies via mobile isn’t easy!

    Wanted to say I am going to go back and read some of the earlier posts – any recommendations for ones on editing and rewriting? This is where I’m at with my writing at the mo…

    Will look forward to the remaining reasons soon!
    Take Care
    @Cat_Lumb

    • I have lots of stuff in the editing category…. try the one’s discussing what things it make sense to cut, if that sounds useful. So glad you’ve discovered the blog!!! I really hope you find it useful, Cat!

  4. MatthewGraybosch

    I started writing fiction because nobody else seemed to be writing the sort of science fiction and fantasy I wanted to read. I was sick of villains like Sauron, Lord Foul the Despiser, and Darken Rahl.

  5. There are all sorts of reasons to write, but I think you have to enjoy it, too. Why would anyone want to spend all those hours staring at a blank sheet, trying to find the right words, and put them down in the right order, to try and tell a story which, at the end of the day, nobody else might read?
    You have to want to do it.
    And then you have to work at it.
    Looking forward to you next set of reasons to write.

    • thanks, Ken! I definitely agree there are a bunch of reasons and you have to enjoy it. The reasons I came up with up to put on the blog are things I have learned lead me to enjoy the process.

      • Absolutely, and it’s a good list. I can look back with satisfaction on the books I have written, and the things learnt. In fact, writing a novel teaches you HOW to write a novel, another good reason to write one. When are you posting the next five reasons?

        • they’re up now!!! and you’re so right about learning to discover how to write. Haha! I’m working on adding to this list for a writer’s handbook and “you want to play with language, explore language” is a reason I’d decided to add. 🙂

  6. Pingback: A Reminder of the Reason We Write Fiction | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

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