Why We Write

Every author gets this question: why do you write? Interview answers sometimes seem trite, but we also each ask ourselves that at times.

Like those times when I actually write. Seems like it’s either fingers-flying-over-keyboard madly-cackling-about-to-be-arrested bouts, or the stare-listlessly-out-the-window and think “Why am I doing it to myself?”

Well, here’s the (or at least, an) answer to that question. Whether you’re a writer yourself or a reader, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this insight into the (admittedly, sick and twisted) mind of an author.


First, let’s dispense with the obvious: the answer will be different-yet-similar to every author. Different people write for different, personal reasons, but when taken in aggregate you’ll likely find some common denominators.

Here are typical answers:

  • To pay the bills
  • Because otherwise I’d have to work in an office to pay the bills
  • It’s what I do: I read and I write things
  • Because I’d go insane if I didn’t
  • Because it’s cool, man

One and two are obviously related, but sadly only a very small percentage of authors actually do it professionally as a full-time job. (Authors have been subsidizing the publishing industry for decades, nothing new there).

Number three on the list is often the starting point for those avid-readers-with-a-dream, but also for those coming from a role-playing / gaming background. Anyone who lives in stories, interactive or otherwise, and wants to be part of the creation process.

Number four… Well, it’s not for me to comment on others’ sanity and mental balance. I’ll just leave this little meme here. It’s the one that seemed to have generated the most amount of comments I’ve ever got on Instagram, so there must be something to it — though I wouldn’t say that it my driving force.

Which brings me to the last reason on the above list, which happens to be the reason I keep writing. Because it’s bloody fun, that’s why.

There are moments during the writing process when it just looks too complicated, too hard, too big of an effort for so little a gain. That I should be spending my time reading, for a much better guaranteed enjoyment.

Luckily, those moments pass quickly. My writing process is maturing and smoothing, and I find most of it highly enjoyable. When self-doubt hits, it’s easy to remind myself of the good times — of the the cackling glee when I think up a new plot twist, of the satisfaction of finishing a novel, or the blushing at reviews.

I write the stories I want to read. Often it’s as simple as that. I keep writing, because I really want to keep reading this story. More than writing, it also makes editing fun — I’m actually enjoying the story.

Lastly, of course, there’s the daydream about that moment when my evil-genius plan bears fruit and I’m right up there on stage next to Rowling and Martin. It will come, I’m sure of it.

Anyway, to help you all in understanding what and why us indie authors are doing, we’ve condensed this into an easy-to-digest (and share) meme:

Hope you got a laugh 😀 Do feel free to share this meme whenever you’re asked about “Why you write” and are tired of explaining the obvious (the world needs more books like yours).

I’m curious, though. What started and what motivates you? Do let me know in the comments.

9 Comments

      1. It’s a little unnerving for someone to understand the inner workings of my mind. Though comforting to have someone real say it for a change. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I hope you intended to say that writers “subsidize” the printing industry, although I imagine there are a multitude of editors (a writeup of editors? an error of editors?) who do believe that their particular authors are lowering the trade’s best efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

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