Friday, June 12, 2020

Writing: Reason For Writing

I follow a number of writing blogs--probably more than I should, but it gives me an excuse to be at the computer doing something other than writing. Actually, it's helpful at times to see what other writers are going through. But one thing always brings me up short. When I see a post to the effect that "The Lord wants me to write this book." I don't doubt the sincerity of those authors--I felt the same way when I started writing--but there's more to it than that.  I continued to feel that way when four years passed without a contract after four novels garnered forty rejections. Why did I persist? Because I couldn't not write. (Forgive the double negative--you know what I mean).

Why do writers write? I can't speak for most of the writers in the secular field. I've been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of some of them, but I never really asked this question. My writing is in the Christian genre, which means different things to different people. To some, there has to be a presentation of the road to salvation, while others feel that it's important to show how God intervenes in various ways and different situations. It may vary with the publisher, or (if you're indie-published) other factors. But when we talk about that elusive thing called "voice" we usually include what your goal is in writing--how does someone feel when closing the book?

There are a number of reasons to write--for the money (wrong!), for fame (really wrong!), because God wants us to write (true in some cases, but in many instances it's to change the writer, not a reader). When I asked this question of my friends and acquaintances in the writing world, the universal first answer I got, the one that's true here, is a simple one: it's impossible not to write!

There you have it. If the person really feels that they have it in them to write a book, I say power to them. Whether it affects one person or a million is immaterial. Let them write it, and cheer them on. God knows why they write, and He'll see to the outcome.

What do you think?


Diane B said...

I agree with you, Dr Mabry. We write because we can't help but write, despite the challenges we face. ( I hope that is grammatically correct.)
Thanks for sharing your blog with us.

Richard Mabry said...

Dianne, I don't know if it's grammatically correct, but it's the same thing I hear from all who keep on writing.

Patricia Bradley said...

There was an agent who said if you can stop writing, then stop, you don't have the perseverance to see a book through to the end. Or something like that. I'm like you. I can't not write. And I don't want to. Writing, even on days when it's like pulling teeth to get my story on the page, is what I'd rather be doing than anything else.

Richard Mabry said...

And if I'm not writing (since I'm retired) there'd be nothing else for me to do--after all, can't play golf every day (although some folks do). Writing, once you've tried it, will either get in your blood or it won't. If it does, you'll have to keep writing--that's all there is to it.