Lifting the Lid #2.5 “Why You Should Write.”

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28th April 2015

“Standing in the sun with a popsicle, anything is possible.” Soul Asylum, 1992

Hello. This is a strange addendum to the first two posts in the Lifting the Lid series. After all why on earth should I tell you why you should write?

I have to presuppose that by the fact you are reading this you have at least an interest in writing. Or reading. Or maybe you’ve just stumbled across this post and are intrigued as to what I am rambling on about.

Anyway, perhaps this blog should be called “Why You Should Write (if you like writing)” – it’s just not as catchy.

The reason that you should write is simple. Because you enjoy it. Nothing more, nothing less. Do not write because you want to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of your novels and live off the royalties for the rest of your life. Do not write because you want to see your books being read around the pool on holiday (the advent of kindle has all but killed this anyway!). Do not write because you want to see airport shelves filled with your books. As you’ll find out later in the series, the industry doesn’t work that way. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t.

Write if you like writing. Write if it brings enjoyment into your life. You wouldn’t watch a horror film if you suffered from heart-stopping nightmares. You wouldn’t go and see an eighties glam rock band if you hated guitar music. You wouldn’t go fishing if you loved being around people.

The life of a writer is by definition a solitary pursuit. It is about creating your own world and putting that creation into sentences and words that hopefully others will read, enjoy and understand. It is about stepping away from your loved ones and your reality for long periods of time to pursue something alone.

Perhaps one day somebody will read it, understand your world and choose to publish it. Who knows. But this shouldn’t be the driver to write in the first place. The writing itself should bring the pleasure, not the hope of becoming published. And, becoming published is just the first stop on a long journey.

If you ensure you enjoy your writing, by definition you always enjoy the journey whether you make it to the first stop or not.

It is your world though, so you are allowed to dare to dream.

Until next time, take it easy,