This holiday week, the Inkitt bloggers will be reflecting on why they write. Read on for insight into their personal journeys…
I’m not sure there are actually bad reasons to write, honestly. Although there is plenty of subjectively bad writing, no one can rate your motivation. So, here are a few of my own reasons for sitting down at the keyboard every day.
This is the first reason anyone should write. I don’t agree with the principles of aestheticism, which argue that art should only exist for its own sake, but I do think it’s too easy to attach too much meaning to things as you create them. Over thinking kills fun and – by extension – art. The best works of fiction are driven by the author’s desire to just make the thing. Applying meaning, rooting out themes, and finding hidden moral/political/critical messages belong in the Slog of Revisions (which is adjacent to the Swamp of Sadness).
You get to do things in fiction that you can never do in reality. Writers rule kingdoms and lose limbs. They explore creepy houses and put ghosts to rest. They live and die many times over through the characters they write, and even if they don’t write escapist fiction, they still reach the final conclusion they know, way deep down, is the right one.
Just like any protagonist has to overcome obstacles to their goals, my relationship with writing faces challenges. One of the primary challenges is my ongoing war with severe depression. Although I’ve cycled through multiple medications, been in and out of therapy, and learned to practice mindfulness exercises to limit the disease’s impact on my daily life, it has still infected my muse. At this point, my motivation, inspiration, and illness have gotten confused. It’s like The Lady and the Tiger. I have two doors in my head, and when I go to write, I never know if the door I open will release the muse or the monster.
That isn’t always a bad thing, though. Giving my depression a voice when I write helps me sort out deep-rooted issues obliquely. Depression also helps me slip into a mourning, angry, or frightened character’s skin extremely easily. At this point, I don’t know if the depression is an obstacle or a whetting stone, but it is certainly one of the reasons I write.
To Create Stories I – and People I Care About – Want to Read
Fair warning: we’re headed towards mushy territory now. Ultimately, we do the things we do in order to make the world, or our corner of it, a better place. That’s especially true of artists and writers. We have big dreams, big hopes, and big fears. I’ve seen a lot of my fears realized. I’ve had some come perilously close. However, I also know I can make the world a little better for people I love and respect. I write to create fictional worlds where people who look like my niece and nephews have a place. I want to build worlds where all my friends’ marriages and romances are respected. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot, meet lots of people, and establish the strangest – and most wonderful – relationships. Eventually, I want to give these connections, stories, and characters a stage.
I remember reading Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword for the first time. It confused me, but also thrilled me. The protagonist led, went on adventures, and didn’t stop to apologize for being a woman. The more I read it, the more I understood. Everyone deserves an experience like that. It’s a special connection. Hopefully, I’ll help some other young person stumbling through the library find their hero one day.
Until then, though, I’ll just keep having fun.