Why I Write

Posted by on April 12, 2006 in memes, uncategorized, writing | 9 comments

As requested by domynoe, my responses to the Why I Write meme…

I write because I can’t imagine not writing.

I go through my day-to-day life, and I make up stories about the people and the things around me. I create my own little versions about why that woman is shopping in that store, why that child is sulking, why that man is screaming into his cell-phone. I also find bits and pieces of information, and I think – Wow, this is too cool not to share. Sometimes those data surface from my formal research work as a librarian, sometimes they’re the result of overheard conversations, sometimes they’re the product of a trip to a museum, reading a book, watching a television show….

All of these bits and pieces just need to be glued together. It’s sort of like piecing a quilt out of fabric scraps. I enjoy manipulating the parts into a new whole. I enjoy creating new shapes, new patterns, new ways of seeing the world around me.

When I don’t write, I get cranky. I become anxious. I feel like I haven’t exercised, or like I’ve eaten too much sugar without enough protein. Like something is missing.

There’ve been plenty of times when I’ve vowed I’m never going to write again. I’ve said that I don’t have the time, or the fortitude, that I can hit my own head against the wall thank you very much; I don’t need editors to do it for me.

But the next day, or the day after, or the day after that, I find myself thinking, “Wouldn’t that make an interesting story?” Or “I would love to figure out who that woman really is.” Or “It would be fun to tell a story where …”

So, I write.

What makes you write? (If you do. And if you don’t, what makes you read? And if you don’t, what are you doing reading this blog?)


  1. I was smiling all through reading your post, because that’s exactly why I write, too. There’s so many stories, and *someone* has to tell them! 🙂

  2. I’m always astounded to learn there are people in the world who don’t do what you have described here.

    Of course, my father was a writer and talked over plot and characters and whatever with my mother at the dinner table. And their friends were couples where one if not both were writers of one kind or another. So I grew up thinking that was how the world was.

  3. Because, like you, I get cranky and anxious if I don’t write. I miss it, even though there are times when it feels like the hardest thing I do.


  4. Yes, exactly!

    Whenever I have one of my great writing blocks, I feel as though my whole world is colorless and grey. I could be in the best circumstances in the world, surrounded by nifty people, but if I could not write, I would still be miserable. And yes, I feel needy and cranky without a good writing fix. It’s more than a compulsion or an addiction.

    Oh. And I never got around to saying: I thought your Glasswright series seriously rocked! (which is, my oblique way of saying why I’m reading this blog *grin*)

    • Re: Yes, exactly!

      And, after nearly a week of frantic website revisions (without publish-able results yet – grrrr) – I’m catching up on posts. Thank you for your kind words about the Glasswright series! I”m glad that you enjoyed it, and I look forward to seeing much more of you on LJ!

  5. Story fragments

    It’s been about seven years since I’ve written any fiction: a humorous short story about a programmable toaster which “bites the dust” at the start of Year 2000. Since then, my main creative outlet has been writing the occasional Amazon.com customer review.

    My head is filled with all sorts interesting ideas for Sci-Fi/Fantasy type stories, including this one recurrent theme which was in some way inspired by Rani Trader’s trial before the King and the subsequent execution of her brother at the end of The Glasswrights’ Apprentice. There would appear to be two or three different novels swirling around in the eddies of my tormented consciousness, since I can’t quite connect them all into a single coherent whole.

    Come to think of it, I’ve been very cranky these past few years …. 🙂

    Bob Shepard of Denver

    • Re: Story fragments

      See? See! You need to get writing! (Oh – and beware spoiling bits of books that others might not have read – I wouldn’t want folks to walk away from APPRENTICE in disgust 🙂 )

  6. I read because I love to go on adventures! I read the first three books of the Glasswrights’ series just a few months ago. I enjoyed the adventures a lot. Thanks for writing. 🙂 Last week I was introduced to a nonprofit group called invisible children. They are working to bring attention to the children in Uganda being abducted by night to serve as soldiers. I couldn’t help but be reminded of King Sin-Hazar in The Glasswrights’ Progress. I also remembered reading a dedication in the front about child armies in the north and wondered if the true story in Uganda was related to the fiction you wrote.

    • Welcome to the blog!

      Invisible Children is getting a lot of press right now. Yes, Crestman and Sin Hazar’s army were modeled, loosely, after the children’s armies in Uganda (and other African countries.) I’d read a couple of long articles about them and was overwhelmed by the impact those experiences must have on a child.

      I hope that you’ll stick around here, commenting early and often!