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Richard Nordquist

Why Writers Write

By December 14, 2012

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The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can't do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. . . .
(Orhan Pamuk, "My Father's Suitcase" [Nobel Prize acceptance speech, December 2006]. Other Colors: Essays and a Story, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely. Vintage Canada, 2008)

Regardless of what you write--fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, letters or journal entries--click on "comments" to let us know why you write.

For the complete article (revised and expanded), see Why Do Writers Write?


December 14, 2012 at 1:24 am
(1) Paul says:

I write because my thought processes are a constant stream of “What if…?” Exploring and developing those ideas has filled collections, novels and a bunch of produced audio plays.

December 17, 2012 at 11:35 am
(2) legend says:

I write because I must. Spoken language is too immediate. The written word can be savored.

December 18, 2012 at 3:56 am
(3) Kirsty After says:

I write to discover. Writing is exploration. I love being taken on a journey that I don’t feel like I have to control. I never know where I will end up. Writing is still difficult at times for me, and I enjoy the challenge.

December 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm
(4) Stan Rosen says:

Writing and learning always fascinated me. I always struggled with writing, and felt inferior that I could not write well. But, as a retired senior and after a full life, I received my doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology eight years ago. Now, developing a writing career on the internet sounds exciting to me. Improving my writing, sharing my ideas, hopefully benefiting others can be a productive way to spending the rest of my remaining years.

December 25, 2012 at 7:16 am
(5) DB Corey says:

I write because something strikes me, and then wonder what might come after.

June 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm
(6) Stephen says:

If I don’t write, something will wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me why I haven’t. And she is usually not very friendly.

June 4, 2013 at 9:15 am
(7) Umberta Mesina says:

I usually write to have a better grasp on things – something between Safire’s and Vidal’s positions, or perhaps, something with both of them in.
I can understand reality better through writing.
(I would like to be nr. 12, though.)

November 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm
(8) Fauna says:

I write because it makes me so happy and satisfied. I can’t not write. It’s too terrifying to think of a life without doing it.

March 5, 2014 at 9:49 am
(9) news gazette says:

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