Why Do Writers Write?

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You may as well ask why do painters paint, or sculptors sculpt. Like them, we have a burning desire within us to produce something for posterity. In our case, for your reading pleasure. The serious writer isn’t in it for the money, only the story. Nor are we attempting to become famous during our lifetimes, just to be read.

Sculptors use chisels and other tools to release that statue trapped inside the block of marble. Painters use brushes, palette knives and all manner of paints and pigments to produce that painting which you admire in an art gallery. Whereas we use words to paint a picture for your imagination to feast on.

By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation. You have to have a writer’s soul and a total commitment to the craft, not to mention a steely determination.

An editor or a teacher of English can give you an explanation for every part of speech in the English language, be it verb; adverb, noun or pronoun, etc, etc. But if you are a writer, what a particular word is formally categorized as by the academically minded is utterly irrelevant? Leave that kind of thing up to your editor. Does a sculptor need to know how to make a chisel, or a painter how to make a paint brush? No. In our case what matters is knowing how to use words to their best effect. To achieve that takes years of practice.

To aid us in writing that story for you, we employ our equivalent of brushes and chisels by spending endless hours researching and fact-finding as well as using our dictionary and thesaurus for the best choice of word, plus reading the works of others.

So, the next time you feel the need to pass judgment on a book you have just read, pause for a moment and ask yourself this simple question, “could I have written it any better?” If you are honest, chances are the answer will be no.

Further to that point, in a recent post on Facebook put out by the BBC about J.K Rowling sharing some of the rejection letters she received over the years with would-be writers, certain sarcastic armchair critics jealous of her success, immediately went on the attack by amongst other things, claiming she can’t write. Nothing surprising there. Most social networking sites and fora automatically attract highly opinionated hate filled individuals.

Not prepared to simply let them get away with it, I posted the following comment – “I see a hell of a lot of envy by people who should know better going on here.

It’s interesting that after I’d posted my comment the criticism slowed to a trickle, particularly when other people agreed with me. One of them went as far as saying to one of the critics, “tell you what, why don’t you give me the name of a book you’ve written?” Not unsurprisingly they received no reply.

While Joanne will never know how we rallied to her defense unless one of you tells her, it’s nice to be able to silence a handful of the highly vocal idiots out there from time to time, don’t you think.

Score one for all writers…

πŸ˜‰

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37 thoughts on “Why Do Writers Write?

  1. I am no fan of Harry Potter but to say JK can’t write is ridiculous. There certainly is a lot of jealousy out there, not to mention people who believe that unless your book is unreadable by most of the population it isn’t literature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bow before you, I am in awe of your forthright appropriate swipe at the jealousy and hate tribes. It is surprising how on the wrong day a person can let the nasties sink their teeth into your own self-belief.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Why Do Writers Write? | lampmagician

  4. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    “Sculptors use chisels and other tools to release that statue trapped inside the block of marble. Painters use brushes, palette knives and all manner of paints and pigments to produce that painting which you admire in an art gallery. Whereas we use words to paint a picture for your imagination to feast on.” A great post on why writers write from Jack Eason…read on!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You could certainly say that about many artists. Indeed, writing is a true art form when it is creatively expressed. It is something the writer is compelled to do; not necessarily for fame as much as pure expression.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Aurora. We all do what we truly love if indeed we’re in the arts. Be it writer, actor, painter, sculptor, etc, etc.. Personally, I would never want to be famous, although it would be nice not to ever worry about paying the bills! As for JK Rowling, yes, pure jealousy when someone says she can’t write. Anyone who is successful at their craft is definitely doing something ‘write!’

    Liked by 1 person

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