Why do I write?

This interesting question came up in connection with something else I was doing, but it left me pondering the whole nature of my writing.  I blog, for example, for a number of reasons, and they aren’t unusual.  They include:

  • a desire to record my thoughts and the opportunity to do so
  • the usefulness of jotting down things that I can look back on, or look up, at a later date (like the mince pies recipe)
  • a touch of self-importance thinking that my thoughts matter
  • the possibility that someone else might be interested
  • wanting to have a record, particularly of how things grow in the garden, so that if I want to, I can look back and compare the state of things that were as I viewed them at the time, and not just the memory of how things were (which may be the same as my second point, but is more structured)

But I also write articles for publications related to hobbies, and thinking about that I think I have done that ever since I belonged to organisation with newsletters.  Typically they are event reports, but sometimes those have turned into something quite creative (e.g. the worm’s eye view).  It didn’t take me long to start writing for the local Bird Society, to include items I thought might be of interest in the annual Bird Report.  Especially as I was already doing my own bird report (although these are sadly falling behind rather badly – I have started the one for 2009, but haven’t finished the one for 2008 yet, I don’t think).

There are academic papers and reports that I’ve published.  I remember how weird it was seeing my first one in print in a proper journal.  I still wonder if anyone read it.  These days they are published on the internet rather than on paper.

Transcribing my father’s memories (Geoffrey’s Box) is akin to writing; I see it as a process of editing but first getting down what he wanted to say.  Could it make a book?  Would it be better left as an internet resource?

Does fiction still need to be published as a book or does internet publishing really count?  Can you make a bit of pocket money out of writing for Kindle editions?

I first tried writing a novel when I was in my late teens.  It was a sort of sci-fi novel where the hero(ine) found themselves in a strange place with strange technologies and was trying to make sense of it all.  I remember showing it to one of my friends whose main comment was that she wished I wouldnt write my z’s with a tail as she always read them as a g.  This made the word buzzer somewhat confusing in the middle of a sentence.  The story was rubbish, as it happened.  It didn’t have a plot and I didn’t even really know who the characters were.  So I decided I didn’t really have what it took for fiction, until some characters and their adventures jumped into my head one day and demanded to be written down.

Which is perhaps why I write.  Someone keeps demanding that I do.


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