Amid the client work, the endless pitching and the email exchanges, among the chatter of Twitter and the relentless demands of a blog schedule, sometimes it’s important to remember why we write.
I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of Jim Rohn’s stuff lately. He certainly had a lot to say on the business of becoming successful. The importance he places on words, the spoken word as well as the written, stood out in particular for me.
Rohn stressed the importance of writing things down, of keeping a journal, of reading and writing more in order to learn and to grow.
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Sure, he trails off a bit at the end of this clip… but it got me thinking: why do I write?
Why do avid readers write, and why do avid writers read? (You might need to read that last sentence again!)
What are the reasons for writing? What are the benefits? In other words:
Why do writers write?
From the obscure to the mundane, here are 20 reasons. (This list is by no means exhaustive so please feel free to expand upon it with your own reasons in the comments section underneath.)
1. To explore how they feel about something; to develop their own ideas or the ideas of others.
2. To provide a context from which other people can think and develop ideas.
3. To remember stuff (both the important and the seemingly trivial).
4. To tell a story.
5. To get paid.
6. To challenge.
7. To create. (A fundamental human desire?)
8. To feel significant.
9. To explore or make sense of what it is to be human.
10. To make observations.
11. To remember.
12. To empty the mind, to release stress.
13. To be truly alone.
14. To improve their writing.
15. To become a better communicator.
16. To simplify complexity.
17. To seek truth.
18. To leave something behind.
19. Because they don’t know what they think until they write it down.
20. Because they have something to say. As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it:
[Tweet “You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got something to say”]
Of course there are many more reasons. Why do writers write? You tell me.
Image courtesy of Nana B Agyei via Flickr.