Has anyone ever asked you why you write, other than your writing coach, perhaps? When someone asks such a question, it’s often hard to tell if they mean, “Why do you write” or “What makes you think you can write?”
When that question arises in a conversation, I am often tempted to say, “I love rejection.” In some ways, that may be true. While cleaning out some old file boxes a few months ago, I found a folder full of rejection notes, slips, and letters from my efforts to write fiction and something other than professional or academic pieces several decades ago. In some cases, they made me chuckle.
Perhaps a touch of masochism is a necessary ingredient for making writing your vocation or long-term avocation. On the other hand, some of us want to express ourselves in a way that will last longer than sounds emanating from our mouths.
In my case, I need to share thoughts, ideas, and stories that may make another think, wonder or laugh. I am also known as a red-flag waver in some circles, and I need to raise that flag occasionally to say, “Hold on a minute! Have you considered the consequences?”
It would be nice to make a few bucks from my writing. It might even be fun to make it back onto a speaking circuit. Traveling at someone else’s expense to share your thoughts and ideas is fun and provides lots of fodder for new blogs, essays, or journal articles.
However, the best reasons to keep writing are keeping my mind sharp, my vocabulary growing, and the occasional heartfelt response from a reader who learned from or was touched by something I wrote.
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