Sunday 25 September 2011

Reasons to Write

Lately I’ve found that when I sit down to write… nothing happens. No matter how many hours I spend in that chair I’m lucky if I get down 50 words and even then I usually go back and delete/rewrite them all the next day. So after suffering with this problem for the last few weeks I finally had a ‘Eureka’ moment last night at about 2am when I realised my mistake. My reasons to write were wrong!
Now instead of just sitting and typing away like I used to (not caring or thinking about anything other than writing my story) I would antagonise over every single sentence, plagued by thoughts such as;
Would that scene that I love put an older reader off my book? Would my use of exclamation points put off an agent? Is my choice of wording to advanced? Does that comment make my character to unlikable?’
Do you spot the problem? Rather than writing the book I want to write - I had began writing the book I thought everyone else would want to read. You see somewhere in the midst of my writing journey I lost my way and suddenly EVERYTHING became about becoming published and impressing agents which believe it or not, was never my goal.
OK sure, I admit I’ve thought about it (and in great detail to I might add) I even have my thank you speech and first book dedication all written out :) but until recently, getting a publishing contract was never the REASON for my writing. Last night I had to remind myself of this and getting out my notebook, I sat and wrote out my motivation behind it all. Here is my list:
Reasons to Write (Plus a few reminders)
1.      Because writing is awesome and I LOVE doing it.
2.      Originally, this story was only intended for me, Skittle and Sqwoo (my best buds who I promise are actual people and not the imaginary kind that there nicknames suggest).
3.      It’s my story, my world, my rules.
4.      It’s the book I’ve always wanted to read and should remain the story I’ve always wanted to write (And If I write it wrong my characters will never forgive me)
5.      Also because this is a hobby try and remember there is no deadline!
6.      It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
7.      Anything else that happens is a bonus!
8.      Remember publishing can be a goal but never the reason you sit down and write every day.
So after laying all this out I felt much better. Also luckily the damage to my WIP isn’t too extensive. All my worrying over words, exclamations and sentence structure has thankfully left me with little to fix.
Anyway, I think my point to all this is that while in some ways it’s good to consider target audience and marketing appeal to agents and publishers, I think it’s more important to write the book that you love and want to write. After all if you don’t love your story, how is anyone else meant to love it either?
Therefore if my story is enjoyed by other people then great, if it’s loved by Skittle and Sqwoo even better. If it is the best book I’m capable of writing and tells the story I want to tell, then everything I set out to do will have been achieved.
What do you guys think? What are your reasons for writing?


  1. This is such a great post. I have lots of these thoughts all the time, and I just keep telling myself to be true to myself in my writing.
    I think if you don't love your book then it will be reflected in the work, and others will not be enthusiastic.
    Even if one or two people read what you write and love it then that's such a big achievement.
    I started writing 'properly' to help me cope with losing my Dad, (it’s really expressive and like free counselling). Now I do it because I love it so much.

    I'm so glad you got over that bump in your writing and are enjoying it again =]

  2. This post is fantastic! You really do have to find a way to kick all the other voices out of your head and just write for yourself. That is always, hands down, how I get my best work out there! So glad you got yourself started again!

  3. What a great reminder! I especially love #7. Totally inspiring. I'm so glad I found your blog! :)

  4. Definitely write what you want to write. After all, what is the point if the end product isn't what you want. If everyone else loves it too, then that's a bonus! :)

    P.S. - You have a very important email!

  5. Fantastic reasons and so true! <3