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Why writers write, what are their motivations?


a certain topic is not an easy task, the process is tedious and occasionally it's nerve-racking. For this reason, writers are often advised to write only the subject matter that they love to write. Without elaboration it is an accepted fact that people in general don't get easily tired when they are doing the things that they love. Look at the athletes they undergo rigorous physical training everyday and tremendous discipline routine yet they don't complain about that, simply because they love what they are doing. They know that all the hardships that they're going through are necessary to prepare them for the upcoming competition. The same principle is applicable to the writers. They must find their so called niche because that is where their passion is and people are only passionate about the things that they love to do.

According to the American author Henry David Thoreau "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away". This is how we find our passion; we constantly hear it inside our heart. The call is unceasing it will haunt you like a ghost. The only way to stop it is by yielding to its call. People who disregard the call of their passion will eventually die a lonely and frustrated old man. Those who go for it; those who dared to try yet failed in the process will still be happy in the end because he knew that he fought for his dream. His self-respect will still be intact. We all have our ups and downs; defeats and success and shares of failures, yet, I pity those people who did not even dare to try - these people are truly pathetic. There's nothing to be afraid about dreaming and trying, for this reason we can always work towards the achievement of our dreams in life. We shouldn't be afraid to fail, remember that in great attempts there is glory even in failure. I am sad whenever I see old, decrepit and defeated people.

Every individual is responsible for his or her own success and failure. Suffice it to say that our respective success and failures lies in our own hands. It is we who shall decide whether we will be happy or not. To be happy doesn't necessarily mean that we must always get what we wanted in life or achieve the exact dream that we've cherished and envisioned in our mind. Being happy means we worked and fought our way courageously; often than not it is the process or the journey that matters most, the result or the so called success is just secondary. People who do not dare to try are the loneliest people in the world and their loneliness is very deep and hidden. They can smile in front of other people but deep inside they knew that they have surrendered. They will spend the remaining years of their lives reminiscing the old days and their favorite line would be this "IF ONLY", very poor choice of words. In this regard, once you found your passion you should never let it go. Give your energy in order to realize it.

In my case, I've learned few years ago that writing is my passion at the same time it became an obsession. I come to the conclusion then that there is no escape from it; that whether I like it or not I'll be a slave of writing. When I heard the "different drummer's" beating there's no choice for me but to follow him wherever he leads me. Writing is my life. I tried to ignore it before, I tried to forget it but it keeps on haunting me. For me writing has become a curse and a gift at the same time. I did not choose writing, writing had chosen me. Is there money in writing? There is but very little, writing will not make a person rich. It's alright with me, I have long accepted the fact that writing like philosophy bakes no bread. Despite of this I've decided to continue to tread in this lonely path.

At this juncture, I've decided to write something about the topic of writing - Writing about Writing, this is the title of my composition. As a writer I believe that it is my obligation (at least to myself) to write something about my passion and obsession. In this new project I want to write down my reflections with reference to the wonderful world of writing. I don't know what urges me to choose this topic but this is my choice. I guess this is a reality in the life of a writer. They don't choose their topics; on the contrary it's the topic that is choosing the writer. Prior to this project, I've authored and finished a document called "Philosophical Questions and Answers". What happened was that I've found the list of 140 Great Philosophical Questions in the internet and I've documented my answers to all the questions in that list. I'm very proud of myself for finishing that document (27 pages all). In this new document (Writing about Writing), I want to share my personal thoughts and perspectives about writing. In order to guide and inspired me in my latest journey I've chosen to reflect on the list of quotations that I've researched in the internet it is called "Famous Quotes on Writing" from a site called "The Writers College Times". But before I went any further I just want to answer this important question, why do writers write? I believe that this is a good starting point to begin my reflection.

Why Do Writers Write?

Writing down your thoughts and emotions is a good exercise; in a way it's therapeutic. For some writers this is a good motivation. Many writers are introvert type of people; they aren't recluse yet often than not they prefer to be alone than join the company of other people. They find happiness, contentment, peace and inspiration in solitude. For their own pleasure, they would choose either reading or writing. Writers loved the act of writing down their ideas about life.

Another reason why do writers write is because they want to communicate to other people. Writers are good communicators and they like communicating to other people. They're skillfully using the art of writing as a powerful medium of communication. It doesn't matter to the writer whether he is communicating to thousands or millions or less than ten people. What matters to the writer is that he has an audience; that somebody out there is reading his work. Writers are happy when their readers appreciate their work. Apparently, rational egoism is a syndrome that is common amongst the writers.

Writing is a good way to start a revolution or a crusade. Actually, it is a recorded fact that many of the great political revolutionaries in history were prolific writers. Karl Marx, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Trotsky, Robespierre, Jose Rizal, James Cannon, Simon Bolivar and Jose Maria Sison and many others like them both local and abroad have started their respective revolution not by the use of gun and sword but through pen and paper. Suffice it to say that writing and radicalism are very compatible. So, if you want to change or clean the society; if you want to fight graft and corruption and all the evils and stupidities in your country or perhaps you want to topple the government. Whatever style of radical action and militancy you wish to do - you have to write it first.

The recording of the circumstances about your personal life is a good motivation for many writers. This is what the diarists and the writers of memoir are doing; they're recording their own lives. Samuel Pepys and Anne Frank were famous diarists. Once in my life I've tried to write my life in a diary but eventually I discovered that that kind of writing is not my "cup of tea" so to speak, I'm not passionate about it. I prefer narrative writing and essay.

To instruct and to educate the readers, this is a noble goal common to many writers. We are living today in a world of fast communication and the dissemination of information takes less than a minute. Writers knew very well how to take advantage on the power of the internet to spread their ideas purposely to guide, instruct and to educate the readers.

Soul searching and knowing oneself is one of the reasons why writers write. When you are writing you are in effect reflecting on the topic that you are writing; this is called internalizing. The writer is actually entering into another dimension; if his writing topic is about "love and relationship", the writer is obliged to explore and to expound every aspect related to that topic. Hence, while writing the topic the writer is also being introduced to his real self.

To find rest and happiness, the world is a crazy and noisy place and many writers simply don't fit in this condition. For true writers they find solace and peace in writing. This is their idea of relaxation. Pen and paper or computer laptop is all the writer's need to make his life happy and contented. In his short, miserable and troubled life the American writer Edgar Allan Poe found his paradise by writing horror stories. In his penury and illness the Scottish poet Robert Burns found peace and comfort by writing down his immortal poems while reminiscing the good old days (Auld Lang Syne). Writers are often called weird by people because they have their own version of happiness.

The foregoing, are the common reasons why writers write. Of course, there are other reasons and motivations that are not included in the above discussion. In fact, some of these so-called "motivations" are weird and crazy. Personally, I believe that motivation is motivation, whether it is crazy or not doesn't really matter. The important thing here is that the writer one way or another was motivated to write, that should be the end-game. Much has been said about why writers write and now it's time for me to reflect.

Reflections on Writing

True writers don't quit. The word give-up or surrender is not part of their vocabulary. People who believe in their heart that they are genuine writers never quit. They persist every day until they reached the level of mastery. When they get tired they paused and take their rest yet they don't quit. They always go back to where the fight is. People may ignore them, publishing companies may not accept their works but they don't mind it. The world may conspire against them nevertheless true writers don't give up.

Inspiration is important to the writer hence a true writer knows how to motivate himself. Most of the time, the motivation of the writer comes from reading good books. Words are the life-blood of the writer and his everyday's nourishment. A well-written novel, a 4

moving essay or a poignant poetry is a good source of enthusiasm for the writer. Writers don't wait for the inspiration to come; they create the inspiration that they need.

Writers are made. They're not born. Hard work, discipline and the willingness to go on despite of the frustrations and difficulties, these are the qualities that makes a writer. The writer can be many things but the one thing that he is not is that, the writer is not a lazy person. Lots of people think that writing is a lazy type of job and that's where they got it wrong. In fact, the journey of becoming a writer takes a lot of practice and a lot of reading which is definitely not an easy work to do.

Non writers often than not are amazed by the works of the writer; they have the propensity to attribute this to what they often refer to as the "genius mind" of the writer. They're wrong about that, since not all writers are genius. However, genius or no genius their common ground is called "imagination". Writers in general are imaginative, creative and innovative. They knew how to play words.

Reading a lot and writing a lot. There are no short-cuts in turning out to be a writer. If you really want to be a writer you must invest in reading and writing. The more you read and the more you write the more you will become the writer that you wanted to be. You need to read a lot in order to stockpile tons of words and ideas. And you need to write a lot in order to overcome your weaknesses. Aspiring writers with no love on reading may still pursue their line of interest yet they will certainly fall into the abyss of mediocrity.

True writers do not hide the ideas inside their head; they write it down. Whether the idea is good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable to the readers; genuine writers had no choice but to write it down. They are slave by their passion in writing.

Time like gold is very essential for the writers; they knew how to value every second, minute and hour. True writers don't waste time; procrastination is not part of their routine. They knew that life is short, fragile and time is flying past. Hence, they keep on writing every day. They knew that one day they'll have to leave this world yet they shall be immortalized through their works.

Solitude is the best friend of the writer. Unlike the others, the writer is strong whenever he's alone. The writer knew that there're power and beauty in being alone. In his solitude the power and mystery of the universe are the companions of the writer.

If you want to advance in your career, there are only two things that you need to do; read and write. You don't have to go to college (often than not it's a waste of money of your parents), don't need take master's degree or doctoral degree. Just concentrate on reading and writing and you will achieve great success.

In writing your piece it's not necessary to please other people. Just focus on the message you want to write. You want to document your thoughts and emotions that is the essence why you are writing. People may not approve your opinion or suggestion but that's not your problem; that is their problem. Just write what you want.

I love the English language. This is my preferred language when I am writing. This is the language of the most powerful empire in the world: the British Empire. Long before the 5

emergence of the Americans, the Australians and the Canadians - the English people was already there.

Seize the day (carpe diem in Latin) because life in this world is short. Write your poems, write your essays, write your stories, and write your novels. Whatever it is that you want to write, write it for Christ sake. Don't procrastinate.

The writer is also a human being like you and me. As member of the Homo sapiens specie the writer has his own lists of frustrations, defeats, weaknesses and failures. He is using these emotions to propel himself in his writing journey.

Details, details and more details - this is the diet of the writer. This is what the writer eats for his breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. The more details the better because it meant more ideas and more ideas are the corner stone's of any topic.

The only important rule in the field of writing is this: you have to write down your message or idea. The rule of grammar is just secondary. Don't worry about the grammar it can be taken care of later on. The primary thing in writing is the supremacy of the idea. The idea or ideas are essentials in writing. The reader often than not are impressed and attracted not by the grammar but rather by the idea(s) that they see in the paper.

Starting something is always difficult. The same thing is true in writing. This is the reason why aspiring writers are required to write everyday - in order to overcome the weakness and difficulties and at the same time to enhance their skill.

Everything in life is a potential topic and imagination and creativity are the tools of the writer in order to depict the essence of his writing. Good and bad, ugly and beautiful, strong and weak all these can be written down. The writer must always trust his instinct in writing whatever topic he wants to write.

There's no big money in writing. Even the so called professional writers have to supplement their meager income from writing by doing odd jobs.

The writer is only guided by one rule and that is he must write down his idea. Other protocols and rules are secondary. The writing of the message and the conveying thereof is more important compared to the observation of grammar rules.

Discipline and passion are important to the life of a writer; these are more important than talent. Talented yet undisciplined writers are useless; they will not go anywhere. Don't cling too much to talent because the world is full of talented but derelict people.

Writing everyday is like going to the gymnasium in order to strengthen your physical body. In the case of the writer he is obliged to write everyday in order to make his mental muscles strong. Body fitness and mental agility evolves within the same principle.

True writers don't give up when the going gets tough. They continue in scribbling their ideas day and night, rain or shine. They believe in the saying that "when the going gets 6

tough, the tough gets going". They can be hurt, they may stumbled or fall yet they knew how to get up and go back to the fight.

True writers know how to spot genuine opportunity and once they spotted it, they don't let it go. They have trained their mind and they knew that they're ready. Writers will always find the chance to demonstrate their skill which they have sharpened up through the years.

The best instructor and source of inspiration for a writer is no other than reading. Reading will make you a true writer (if you're an aspirant or an enthusiast). As a writer you need lots of words and in order to accumulate and be a master of words you need to read lots of books. According to American author Virginia Woolf "read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river".

Writing is not really an easy task, even the so called creative writers finds it difficult to write down their ideas. Yet this is the essence and beauty of writing, the writer is force to think and to go beyond the limit; the desire is forcing the writer to go out of his comfort zone. Words are not enough the idea should also be synchronized and consolidated properly. The writer is like a painter who is painstakingly utilizing his brush in order to paint his masterpiece.

True writers dare to find their own voice; they don't follow on the predictable path of others. They don't fear rejection and criticism. The important thing for a writer is to write down and share to the public his idea. "I am what I am" this is the motto of the true writer.

The writer is always facing difficult situation whenever he is writing something. The "writer's block" is his greatest enemy. This condition occurs when the writer is trying to sanitize his writing. Writers who conceal their real thoughts and feelings in order to please their readers are cowards and they're pathetic.

The more items you write the better. Preponderance of works is the name of the game in the world of writing. Some of your works will be appreciated, some will be rejected. Therefore, the writer must be like a factory - continuous production is required of him.

Concentration is more important than inspiration. Of course writers need inspiration but more than that they need full concentration. Concentration is the mother of production; the more you concentrate the more you will produce.

To get the attention of the reader the writing must be interesting. It will only be interesting if they (readers) can relay with the message. Therefore, a good writer knows how to choose his readers otherwise he's just wasting his effort. If the writer can pierce to the heart and minds of the people he will certainly get their attention. Once the writer get's the attention of his readers that's the start of his success (with or without monetary reward).

Writing is not always about displaying the intellectual skill of the writer; the emotional factor also plays a big role in writing. Simply because the writer is both intellectual and emotional, his perception, analysis and philosophy one way or another is being influence by the state of his emotions.

The life of a writer is unique since it's a combination of heaven and hell; happiness and sadness; fear and courage; light and darkness; hope and despair; joy and fear, in short it's like a kaleidoscope world. The writer is living in his own universe, he is part of everything.

Ideas and inspirations come and go and the writer has no control over it. The true writer is like a conjurer he should know how to summon the ideas and inspirations whenever he needs it. Like in witchcraft the true writer must know how to conjure up in order to perform the magic tricks.

Finally, no critic or malicious person can put down a true writer because the true writer is invulnerable, he doesn't need anyone since he can create and live in his own world.


When you're reflecting on the ideas of other people you're in effect entering into the portal of the minds of those people. It's like you're embarking in a very motivating and fascinating journey. That's why I enjoy writing reflection papers. In this project, I've entered into the mind of the great writers, past and present. I've learned a lot of inspiring things about the art of writing by reading and reflecting on their thoughts.

Closing Remarks

In view of the foregoing, in case you read this piece of work, it is my hope that you will like it.

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