“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write”
For so many of us, writing is a creative urge that simply must be brought to the surface. To live a life having never expressed yourself in this way, simply unthinkable. Your favourite authors – imagine how much poorer the world would be if they had simply never written.
Here at the Australian Writers’ Centre, we recently asked our community what motivates YOU to write – the drive that fuels your desire. We had hundreds of replies, and we’re sharing some with you to inspire and reaffirm your own passion for prose…
I write because it makes me feel free. When I pick up a pen or start to type I am creating a world of my own. I am transported to that place; I am there with the characters I have created. I enjoy watching the words come together as the story starts to grow. Writing is my way of expressing myself and my creativity. I can let my imagination run wild! When I start writing I just can't stop, and I love that feeling! – Jemaja Lindner
When I write I feel like I can take off whatever mask I'm wearing and watch my brain become unclogged while the words form more tangible ideas. – Courtney Borrett
I've never seen the world as other people do.
I have lived through stories that beg to be told.
Nothing is more important in life than the story we live, except, possibly, for telling that story.
I love the sound of words, in any language, and listen to the song they sing. From story and song comes the tale of life, and that tale begs to be told.
I want to memorialise my family by making a monument that will last through time.
I want to make a work of art with my writing that will change the world. – Douglas Jensen
I write to share a part of me. I get lost inside my own mind and delve in between the cracks to find a simple idea, and turn it into a story that contains a part of me. The most vulnerable parts of myself, my emotions and ruminations -whether it be good or bad. I let myself lay open to be probed and criticized, in hope that other people would find value in it, in hope that those parts of me makes other people happy. If I manage that, I'd say job well done. – Luisa Marie Almuete
If it is the only way left to bring freedom to the thoughts that were imprisoned, give life to the people who had lost interest in everything, tell a story that would leave a big imprint on one's mind… Then, these are the reasons that can drive me to paint sceneries using letters and words. – Judy Ann De La Cruz
Your writing is important. That is what I tell myself, correctly. It's more than escapism. It can impact the world, here and now. It truly can change lives. What you've experienced is totally unique. Your unique journey – even if you're creating fiction – is the foundation of your writing. You faced challenges, and you came through stronger. Somebody out there needs to read what you have to write, because it could literally save their life. Literature is the core of society: laws, governments, fashions, and traditions, all come and go – only literature remains. Create something that remains. – Joshua Beer
I write because I see no alternative way to live my life in peace. I've tried to shun my verbose inner voice many times (SO many times!), but in the end it is always easier to get those words out of my head and onto the page – they haunt me less that way. Writing chose me, so for better or for worse, I'll honour its desire to be told through my words. – Jessie Cunniffe
Laziness. I love to look like a genius while I am reclining with a biro or laptop.
– Carol Lowden
My heart still melts when I see children enjoying a book. The emotions on their face are priceless. I write because I wish to be part of that and see children reading a book I have written for them.
Sharing a book and reading with them is even better! – Sue Marks
100 words? Seriously? OK, fine, I'll focus on one reason for now. Character creation. Conjuring up people out of the blue and seeing them take on a life of their own (because why would my characters listen to me when they could just not). People who would never exist if I did not write. Each of them has a story to tell, that, frankly, no-one else is going to. Also, I have way too many ideas and I need to do something with them, otherwise I might just go mad, and I'd hate to leave a story unfinished. – Rose Chubb
I write to understand myself, to get into another world, enjoy being around words that excite me and to leave a legacy of sorts (don't know what that is yet). – Nola Wernicke
For me, writing is following my heart along a pathway of wonder. It's a path I have to take. It’s fun! It's exciting! Words are waiting for me. My thoughts dance and ideas twirl. As hopes soar and dreams are chased, seeds of stories germinate. Worlds, ways and wishes are wanting to be explored. Sometimes I'm off track. Sometimes I'm lost. With open eyes, I find my way. With an open mind, I find myself. Discoveries are made. Understanding grows. Stories bloom. Filled with love, my heart can be followed and wonders can be shared. – Jennifer Pearse
My Dad served in both World Wars and all his colleagues and relatives have now passed on. I know nothing about their lives and experiences. I thought my kids would like to know about my life, so I started writing my memoirs. I came from Africa 8 years ago and joined [my local] Writing Circle. The variety of meetings and courses available enlighten my old dull years and gives me cause to continue writing. – Trevor Smith
Having always enjoyed writing and making people react, writing frees me from gauging people's faces in conversation which forces me to conform to polite societal norms e.g. the off-limit zones. It's one-way communication and the writing is judged in its unvarnished state by the reader alone. It is liberating and allows the writer to express their authentic self. The publication of my writing opened conversations that I would not have had normally. My writing exposed my real-life experience triggering a reaction. There is immense freedom in pouring your thoughts onto a blank page. I crave authenticity. – Edilia Ford
I thought reading was the best source for escapism until I started writing.
– Caroline Tran
To tell the truth, to cast perspective, to identify the nuance in how something unfolded, to express the lightest shades and the darkest shadows. To enthrall and terrify and give hope and to come to peace within myself.
To search for the perfect phrasing that will truly and succinctly take the reader to another place or allow them to come to know a character, whether they love or hate the place or character is a mark of success that emotion is evoked.
To share, to be free and to release the demons. – Chelsea Cross
Writing is what my soul requires to feel alive. If I don't read or write, I feel drained. Good stories keep me energized. And when the story I read matches my mood, ah, nothing can be more satisfying. 🙂 – Theresa Denelle Pangilinan
Why do I write…because there is so much darkness in the world.
I wish to bring light ☀ – Melanie Schubert