“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all” – Anne Tyler
Writing can bring you incredible joy – but it can sometimes feel like a chore. It depends on your mood, what’s gone on that day, and whether you got out on the right side of the bed! Without a deeper motivation, it can be hard to stick at it. But ultimately, there is something that keeps us going. What is it for YOU? What motivates you to write?
Here at the Australian Writers’ Centre, we recently asked our community exactly that question. And from the hundreds of replies, we’ve been sharing some of our favourite responses. This week we present one final collection – we hope they inspire you and remind you of your own reasons for writing – even on those tough days! Enjoy…
A chair, a newly purchased fountain pen, a warm fuzzy blanket, a fat furry snoring Pug, a relentless physical pain, a diary that once was full, a permanent grief stricken tear, an inquisitive mind, a group of very human, personal and kindness driven people on the internet, a family whose very existence epitomises the meaning of the word love, an opportunity. –Terri Forrester
I write because I love the challenge of putting words together that can move, inspire or catch people's attention. The written word is so powerful and it's amazing how one word can change the tone and message you are trying to convey.
Writing can feel like childbirth, as you nurture your ideas until the purpose becomes clear, and when you are ready, it can flow out smoothly, or get stuck and take more effort. However, the end result can be something to be proud of, and present to the world as yours. That is what I love about writing. – Tara Webster
Writing transports me from the mundane and into a vision of myself I had when I was much younger. It reminds me that I can live a creative life, despite the demands of work and the chaos of kids, family and friends.
If I have a book published one day that will be great. If I don't I have the satisfaction of constantly tapping into my experiences, my interests and parts of me no one knows and pulling it all into something unique, That's why I write. – Glenda Price
I write because the emotions that fill my head are too great to carry. I write because they spill out like a flood. Without writing I am lost. I write to express the love I hold, for my partner, for my god, for this world I live in. For the found family I am eternally grateful for. I write because it's the only way I know how to share my love with those who need to see it. – Pippa Wilcox
Now there's a great question. Why do I write? It is certainly not for the absolute pleasure of it. Sometimes it's agony!
But, aaah, the satisfaction that comes from finishing. And the delight if someone actually reads it.
I am a genealogist and love putting my ancestors into the context of their time and finding that little gem that makes the story come to life.
But when the research is done and you are trying to bring it together, it is draining.
So why do I do it? Simply for the pleasure of finishing and having someone enjoy the story. – Pauline Wilson
Writing gives me joy. Whether I'm writing a short story or working on my never-ending, ever-changing novel, it is the hand that pulls me out of bed each morning – my most creative time of the day. I write mostly fiction, but have collections of real life events; memories and reflections of pain, sadness, kindness and serendipitous happenings. It is my hope that my stories, especially the painful ones, might resonate with readers who have walked, or are currently walking similar paths, and perhaps inspire them to make positive changes that I always found difficult to make. – Lee Gutmanis
The craft of exploring and finding that one word which best describes a thing or situation. The art of stringing several of them together to form a perfect sentence. When I can read that sentence back days, months and even years later and it's still as poignant as the day it was constructed. A sentence that resonates around the world. My sentence being used now and for future generations. So much is said without meaning. So much needs to be said with a pure essence. A sentence, a phrase or even just a word, can change thought everywhere. The timing must be perfect. It does not have to be the ultimate, just one among ultimates. – Helen Finney
I write to breathe the unsaid moments;
To experience the silence in my heart;
To spark the gleam in my eyes;
To feel the pain in my tears;
I write to revive the nostalgia from the core;
I write …
To illumine the life within in my soul..!! – Shweta Mahajan
With writing, I have the power to share my ideas, my views, my experiences and information with whoever chooses to read my work and it's awesome to be able to propagate all this through texts. I feel an incredible amount of accomplishment and contentment when I get to write because it's my art and writing for me is also a safe place where I can fully express my raw, genuine, unedited self. I feel empowered when I write because my stories and essays are my voice. With writing, we have a voice, one voice. – Sarah Obere
I write because I'm curious. Writing allows me to ask, what would it be like to live in New York? To be rich but desperately unhappy? Perhaps more importantly, it keeps me curious about the ordinary. It allows me to gently unfold to my reader the significance of a woman standing by a window, or teenagers skating in a park. I write because, at my core, there is a little girl for whom life is full of wonder, and who wants to bottle every bit of it in the hope that somebody else will see the wonder, too. – Sophie Hooper
I started writing as a way to deal with post traumatic stress disorder. I would write out my scenario, again and again and again until I felt better. This then led me to writing about my issues with being a head chef. I reached a point where I realised that If I could tell positive stories, maybe I could make something out of it. – James Nicol
Writing allows me to process all of the thoughts buzzing around in my head. I love exploring ideas, and the freedom of knowing that I am only limited by my own imagination and the amount of ink in my pen. I write to make other people feel; whether that be sadness, amusement, pleasure or anything in-between. When I write, I can bring to life experiences that I may never have in reality, but that seem just as tangible because of the power of words. It is like magic, and we could all use a little magic in our lives. – Melanie Noonan
Writing helps me make sense of a chaotic world – it brings me back to me and sorts my thoughts into chunks of meaning that I can make sense of. When I write I know that, however dark it may be, I am okay. It's when I don't write – that's when I know I am in trouble. I have a toolbox and everything goes into that.physical box, scraps of paper, sketches, journals that I cannot burn, all to be sorted into my ‘meaning of life’. – Christine Lamb
Writing for me is an extension of what makes me who I am. I need to do it, just as I need to eat, drink, sleep and take photos. This is my everyday, my motivation, my drive. Everything sparks my writing, a sign, an overheard conversation, a song. Photos jog my memories of places I've travelled to and I recollect all the feelings of the visit, all the senses are awakened and the words flow. I love seeing a story make it to print and hope I've sparked someone else's desire to travel. – Glenys Gelzinis
I write because the stories I wanted to read didn't exist. I write to get the stories out of my head and I write because every now and then my writing makes someone smile. – Rebecca Guthrie
Why do I write? The short answer is that I cannot not write – it is a compulsion. To be more explicit: I love my language: it gives me satisfaction to express my thoughts, my emotions, my ideas, and my stories in writing. I solve my problems by writing them down. And latterly, I have discovered the joy and excitement of writing a novel – I have been transported into a fictitious world; lived through my characters' adventures with them, and experienced their emotions. I am 86: writing is something I can continue to enjoy, no matter how frail my body becomes. – Anne Greening
Why I write, in one-hundred words.
I write to journey, to escape the mundane-and take you, my companion, along for the ride. Just for fun I weave tales of loves lost, the sea, and gold discovered in the sand. I write to express my view of the world hoping to understand it, and myself, a little more each day. I always write with hope, love and peace in my heart. God knows-we need a great deal more of all three these days.
I guess, in the end, I write to be free and simply be me. – David Kenning