Why Do Writers Write? 16 Reasons.

We often get asked, “Why do you write?” The question seems simple but the answer isn’t. It made us curious about what other authors had to say on the subject.

1. Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. ~Jules Renard

2. Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

3. Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

4. If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

5. The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. ~William Styron

6. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. ~George Orwell

7. Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such. ~Samuel Butler

8. I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head. ~John Updike

9. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. ~Joan Didion

10. My stories run up and bite me on the leg-I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off. ~Ray Bradbury

11. Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it. ~Octavia Butler

12. Writing is the supreme solace. ~W. Somerset Maugham

13. Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. ~Graham Greene

14. The easy answer is that writing novels is a lot more fun than practicing law. ~
Jeffery Deaver

15. The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it. ~Leo Rosten

16. Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there. ~Thomas Berger

If anyone knows the answer to this age old question, let us know.

About jmdattilo

J.M. Dattilo is our pen name. We are the authors of the Time's Edge sci-fi/fantasy series.

Posted on April 17, 2011, in Authors, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What an encouraging post! Thank you.

  2. What very good answers! Thank you!
    I agree most with Ray Bradbury, but all others seem valid.
    Another reason for me is the freedom.
    When writing, I am free to live any life, inhabit any place I want for a given stretch of time, without moving my body or having to pay. What riches!

  3. I love this post – I found myself saying “yes! yes! yes!” to just about every one of these quotes (in a Meg Ryan ‘When Harry Met Sally’ voice, of course. My own reason for writing, which is really just a variation of many of the ones already here, is that if I don’t, I am snarky, cranky, and generally impossible to get along with. It releases all the crazy in a way that is actually fun.

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