Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Remind Yourself Why You Write

Every now and then, a reader needs to sit back and really think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. I am always frustrated when I hear writers, who once had a great passion for writing, suddenly forget that whole element. Now, it is all about the money and the glory.

I was listening to a great story on NPR yesterday about the Chelsea Hotel in New York. I've put the link here in case you missed it. I think what amazed me the most, no, maybe the word is inspired me the most, is that these residents truly keep that perspective of what they do at the forefront of everything.


I think part of the reason I like working with new authors is that they have not be ruined by the thoughts of money and glory. They write because they like to create. They love storytelling. Don't get me wrong though. These authors are not just throwing their writing out there without a desire to get something for what they do, but the focus is not on the money.

I do believe this is one of those reasons why I am frequently against many (please note I did not say all here) writers who dive into the lure of the self-publishing model. I do believe that many have forgotten why they write. They have forgotten the desire to produce a great piece of writing. What is motivating them is not the creation process, but "seeing their work published." Again, sure getting published is the thing we are all shooting for, but the question to all of this is simple.

"Do you write to create or do you write to make money?"

You can do both. But what is the driving purpose?

Just something to contemplate today.



  1. Thanks for the NPR article and for reminding me why I do this. I'm not a money grubber yet, because I haven't even found an agent. but in dealing with a family crisis, writing (for the most part) went out the window. Keeping my blog alive was a chore. I was actually thinking of giving it up and admitting it wasn't worth the effort. Thanks for saving me from my very exhausted self.

  2. I write because I need to. I love the process, and the product. I love contributing to the dialog, and offering people my unique perspective.
    But, being able to pay the bills would be nice, too.

  3. Excellent reminder Scott. I think we all write for different, and the same, reasons. One is not more valid than the other, but it has to be true to who you are and what your goals are. Sometimes writing is an escape, sometimes a platform for an idea or belief, sometimes it's all about the characters in your head (I think they have a word for that - oh yeah, schizophrenia). Sometimes it's a road we travel to a goal, sometimes its a need to create. What I know for sure is, it's always a journey of discovery. The financial bonus relates to the business end of the equation, but shouldn't necessarily be the driving force for creative writing. Each day we sit in front of our computers and put words to page, our reasons why we write can change, depending on where we are on that particular day, but the desire to write and to share our visions stands tall at the helm.