This is the REAL reason why we write stories

How many times have you told someone that you are a writer, just to have them say “oh, I could never do that, I wouldn’t know what to write about” or “gosh, if only I had the time to write too”? How many times were you completely confused in response because those weren’t actually factors that you had ever considered? It’s because the real reason you write is something else. It has nothing to do with your abundance of ideas or free time.

The real reason why we write stories

Should you become a writer?

When I got my first book published, I already had two children and I was frequently asked how exactly did I have time to write an entire book. And to be honest, it had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t have time. Time was not something I even thought about. I was compelled to write. I was writing with a baby in my arms and I was writing during nap times, not because I’m a superhuman but because I had to.

I don’t have very many passions in this life. Sure, I love birds and crocheting, but writing is the only thing I really really want to do. I don’t see there being an option where there’s a life for me that doesn’t include writing fiction. Not even if I get to write very dramatic journal entries whenever I want, which is something I already do and it just doesn’t feel the same.

What else do they tell me about being a writer? “Well, that’s not going to make you rich”, is something that I’ve heard a few times, probably by someone who works in an office and isn’t exactly on a fast track to becoming the first millionaire in their family. But *I* do not write to make money.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m overjoyed by every penny I’ve earned with my published work, but that’s never on my mind while I write. If you’ve read my post about whether you should choose your story idea or not, you know I wouldn’t recommend money to be your primary motivation for your craft.

I know professional authors have deadlines and paychecks to think about and there’s nothing wrong with that, but “Oh boy, this story sure will bring in the money!” will not keep you writing for long and it will not turn into great stories. What if the money doesn’t come in? What if you want to write something else? Better have another reason up your pocket.

When you really want to write, you won’t need to think about it. Someone else will still be pondering if they should start writing when you’re already there, doing the writing. It’s like needing to pee. You go do it without thinking whether it’s really necessary.

Writing a book is easier with Protagonist Crafts

So why are you really writing?

I was a really lonely child, and because of the nature of this post and my blog, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not currently a lonely adut. Yes, I do have a few friends and a family, but that feeling of loneliness and detachment has not gone anywhere. It just sits inside me and I don’t know where to put it. It’s not really a typical dinner time conversation, which is why I’m writing about it here, in case someone else feels it and doesn’t get to talk about it over their mashed potatoes and broccoli.

When I write anything, whether it’s fiction or personal blog posts or one of my emails, I’m trying to reach out to another human. I don’t need to know who, it could be anyone, I just keep posting the letters without an address. I throw the bottles into the ocean and hope for the best. I write so that someone will read what I wrote and feel like I wrote to them.

I have struggled with mental illness and other unpleasant shenanigans inside and outside my head, and although occasionally unpleasant, talking about it has never been in vain. Maybe someone thinks I’m gross. I have definitely been called weird more than once. But even if there are 50 people thinking it’s inappropriate of me to talk about suicidal thoughts or about my alcoholic mother for every solitary person who feels less lonely when they read something I wrote, it’s totally worth it.

Please don’t think being a writer is only writing about the difficult stuff. Your unique perspective is needed when writing about the good stuff, too. Nobody sees birds the same way as you do. No one else had the mind to think that cloud looks just like Lady Gaga in the Telephone music video.

You need to share these things, and keep writing, and keep going. This is why words were invented.

What if you don’t know how to start writing?

If you’ve been nodding the whole time you’ve been reading this post but you’re not quite sure how you should start writing an actual novel, I’ve got exactly what you need.

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