Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturday's Writing Quotation Examination

From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.
~ George Orwell

Orwell's motto was, "Writers write." But by that he meant that writers actually put words on paper rather than wasting their time talking about writing or daydreaming about writing or telling themselves that they're going to write at some vague future point.

And I agree.

But why? Why do writer's write when it really is one of the hardest professions to do?


I like to think it's because I have to. Some days when I'm going through a slump and I've received criticism from a source - any source - I want to stop writing. But, deep down I know I can't. Eventually my stories would eat a hole in my soul until the stories came out.

And really, the lands, the people, the worlds I've created beat whatever world I'm often faced with in reality.

Why do you write?

8 comments:

Journaling Woman said...

I'm with you, I *must* write. It made be an illness on my part, because I am obsessed-and because I hear voices-of my characters. I will even throw fits and say, I will never write again. I say, I'm not good enough or I can't find time or I broke my fingernail. These are the excuses. But then the voices begin again. :)

I write because I must.

Jen said...

I'm with you and Journaling Woman, the need to write overcomes everything else. No matter how no's I might eventually receive I know I will still need to write, still have the fiery desire to put pen to paper. It's in your blood and I'm afraid it's not something that can be easily flushed out!

I love it, the good, the bad, the ugly, it all makes you stronger! Today I say that because it's a good writing day!

Also voices in head is never a good thing so getting some of it down on paper helps calm them down!

Jim Murdoch said...

Not all of my writing takes place on the page. Most doesn’t because I’m quite good at doing the groundwork in my head and rejecting stuff before it ever gets to the writing down stage. I don’t have to write. I don’t write for a living. But I still regard myself as a writer because my natural response to life is to write about it. Some people hear music, other images. Things only make sense to me when I convert them into words. Of course words are never quite up to the challenge and stuff is lost in translation: art is what is left afterwards, a distillation of reality. I get frustrated every now and then when I look at what’s ended up on the page and compare it to what was in my head to start with but then I’m grateful I don’t need to express myself in dance.

Fairway Fiction said...

I write because I want to - plus, it's always been a dream of mine to write something publishable (and multiple times if possible). I write to make this "dream" a reality. In fact, it's no longer a dream but a goal.

However, I don't do it because I have to or need to. I want to, even when it's not easy.

Samantha Rose said...

i see the world as poetry. it's kind of like a disease, except there is no cure.

Talli Roland said...

Great question! I went through a writing drought for a few years where I was trying to convince myself that I should concentrate on my job at the time. It was a miserable few years.

When I finally went back to writing, I wondered how I could have been so silly as to think I could get on without it. Writing makes ma happy, it makes me content and it makes me fulfilled.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

For the longest time, I tried to convince myself that unless I had a story that absolutely had to be told, and could be told by nobody else but me, there was no point in me adding to the existing number of books in the world by creating one more.

But guess what? I could fool myself only for a few years :-(

I write because I can't survive unless I do.

Ann Elle Altman said...

JW and Jen, I totally understand and I think you will have other authors nodding their heads in agreement. Sadly, I think only author understand it when authors say 'voices'.

Oh, Jim, those are brilliant words. I know what you mean about being disappointed with the outcome of our writing. The story is never as realistic as the story in our heads.

Fairway, yes. It's nice when others read our work and like it. It's the best feeling in the world.

Samantha, wonderfully put.

Talli, I stopped writing also and it came all too apparent I wasn't meant to.

Rayna, Yes, yes, yes. You sum it up well.

ann