The Week of the Writer Guest Post: “Knowing Why You Write”

Welcome to day #4 in The Week of the Writer! Today’s guest post comes from Lisa Gail Green of Paranormal Point of View.

Lisa is a writer after my own heart. She’s a super-talented writer who has a way of making you think about your writing while offering a unique ‘point of view’ on characters, plot, POV, blogging, and the magic of writing. Her blog is another that I look forward to reading every week!

Thank you Lisa for visiting with us today and sharing why it is that you write!

When Melinda asked me to write about craft, advice or tricks of the trade, I will admit my mind went blank. I know, I know, I kind of do that twice a week anyhow, right? But then I thought: What is the single most important thing? What rises to the top of the list or sums up all the other stuff? And I found an answer!

Knowing why you write what you do.

Yes it sounds pretty darn simple, but it’s not. The answer is probably very complex. If you’d have asked me a week ago, I would have told you it was because I had to. Well, that still holds true. But it’s so much more than that – I need to remember WHY I have to do it. Let me show you my answer and then I’d love to hear yours.

    1. I must remember WHOM I am writing for. I write for children because I remember how important stories were to me growing up. It’s easy to lose sight of who our audience really is, especially when we are wrapped up in craft and querying and such. But I write for children, and those children (albeit the older group) deserve the same kind of wonderful fantasies that I needed and loved at their age. The ones that helped shape my self-concept.
    2. I must remember the feeling of being thunderstruck by an idea. You know the one! Where you are all consumed by the fire in your belly and the ideas are coming so fast and furious that you can’t even remember who you are talking to (hopefully no one important). Agents and publishing contracts don’t matter when you have that feeling. So try to recapture it as often as possible. Believe me it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
    3. I must remember that I am an artist and that creative part of me needs a route to self-expression regardless of my emotional state. I know, it’s a bit psychological, but truly, I am not whole without the self-expression that my writing provides. I need to be true to that and allow myself to let go and not worry about the words I put on the page during a rough draft. I can fix it later.
    4. I must remember that it is important to me to do my best and succeed. This is true. I love learning. I do. I want to know as much as possible about my craft and put it into practice. I want to be professional and present myself and my work the correct way. These things are important to me. They are part of who I am and why I write. I have a goal. I want to be published. Okay, I am published, but I’d like to be a published novelist. I intend, despite the ups and downs in this business, to carry through and persevere until I reach my goal.

So there you have it. These four items describe WHY I write and what I have to remind myself of to truly remember the answer. How about you?

Lisa Green’s publications include numerous short stories and poems, the latest of which are the story IDENTITY CRISIS in the anthology GODS OF JUSTICE from Cliffhanger Books and CURSED in the anthology PLAYTHINGS OF THE GODS available from Drollerie Press. You can find Lisa on Twitter or her blog, Paranormal Point of View. She would definitely have a werewolf for a pet if she weren’t allergic.

9 thoughts on “The Week of the Writer Guest Post: “Knowing Why You Write”

  1. Some thought-provoking points, Lisa. I love your point about being thunderstruck by an idea a lot. Like most writers, I get so many ideas, probably a couple every day. But only a few of them truly stay with me and keep pestering me to actually write them. Some are great ideas, but just not for me to write. But when you find that great idea that is yours to write…nothing is better!

    Also, regarding point 3, and you’ve probably heard this as well, I’ve heard Nora Roberts say, “I can fix a badly written page. I can’t fix a blank one.” 🙂

  2. Lisa, very good points! Sometimes in the craziness of everyday life, we forget what’s most important to us – the satisfaction we get when we write.
    I’ve loved books since I knew how to read (which I’m sure most writers will be able to say)and the wonder of reading a great book that transports you into a world beyond your own has always amazed me. I want to give the gift of that wonder to others like me.
    But I also have to admit that I just get a great sense of satisfaction just writing. That never changed throughout my life (even when I didn’t have time to write for awhile and then would get back to it).
    Thanks for the article!

  3. This is so, so important, and a question that writers need to ask them selves (and expect the answer to evolve). I love #3 in particular, probably because that creative outlet is what dragged me away from engineering and into writing as a real career-possibility. Great post!

  4. I love the way you describe being thunderstruck by an idea. It’s the one you can’t get out of your head. The one that you have to write down. It’s probably the main reason why I write. If I didn’t, the ideas would drive me insane. Last night, I kept complaining to my husband that I couldn’t sleep because a particular story I’m working on wouldn’t leave me alone. To be a writer isn’t a choice, it just is. 🙂

  5. I love this post, Lisa! So many of us need to be reminded, above all else, of WHY we write. This circles us back to who we truly are as writers.
    And I personally loved #2 ’cause there’s nothing like not being able to sleep because ideas won’t stop circling around in your brain – though it doesn’t help when you have to work the next day. 😛

    Thank you again for stopping by and joining us in this week’s celebration! 🙂

  6. Yelena – I’m so glad it resonated with you!

    Susan – My husband argues that Engineering IS creative. But I know what you mean. ;D

    Tina – I’ve had those nights too! I like that. “To be a writer isn’t a choice, it just is.”

    Melinda – thank you so much for inviting me! It was a lot of fun!

  7. Every moment in life is the beginning of another story. Capturing the one that stirs your soul to its core is an amazing thing. Being aware and open to that moment is the challenge. Smiling when it arrives is an appropriate response.

  8. I write for pretty much the same reason I read: For the sake of the connection to another level of reality which every really good story provides. It isn’t escapism. It’s fantasy with meaning. Also the reason why C.S.Lewis’ Till We Have Faces is my favorite book of all time.

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