Recently, someone asked me, “Why do you write?” Good question and worthy of an answer. I’ve come up with a list of seven reasons why I write, and who knows, by the time I am finished with this exercise there may be eight or nine. As you read this, consider why you do what you do. “Why do you sing?” “Why do you draw or paint?” “Why do you play a musical instrument?” “Why do you hunt or fish?” “Why do you do what you do?”
Need a creative outlet – Creativity helps me to feel fulfilled, like I’ve accomplished something that is uniquely…me.
Stories that need to be told – As an old guy, I’ve experienced or heard about an abundance of ‘stuff,’ both good and bad that should be remembered. We learn from the past and if we are wise, then we can use that information to help us resolve the issues of the present.
People who should be remembered – I am particularly interested in writing in the genre of historical fiction. There are intriguing people, who made a difference in their world who should be remembered.
The first installment of IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE pays tribute to my grandparents and chronicles their early years together. My grandmother often told me that they were different when they were young. Happy. Loving. Affectionate. Joyful. Take a look around. As couples grow old together they most often become something else. Grumpy. Argumentative. Cynical. Rude. It happened to my grandparents…and my parents. I don’t want that to be me and my wife and I don’t want that for anybody’s marital relationship. This helped me to see a part of their relationship that I never knew, embracing them in better times, before life happened.
Feelings that need to be expressed – In my first book, FIFTH SUNDAY, it was an opportunity to blow off some steam, deal with some inner feelings that needed to be expressed. The pastorate was a painful experience for me. Have had nightmares about it for years. Still do. Writing has long been a good venting vehicle for me. I used to get frustrated with bosses, write a long letter that expressed my grievances, and then I would just rip it up and throw it away. Writing is therapeutic.
Something I’ve always done – I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It’s just something I do. Wrote my first story in the third grade and a play in the fourth. When I was in college my English prof kept one of my creative writing projects as a model for future classes. My broadcasting career required lots of writing as did the ministry.
Helping others – I write to inspire, encourage, and give hope. Life is full of challenges, some so severe that they can either make us or break us. I want my readers to know that, despite the obstacles before them, they can overcome. You can be victorious and the best is yet to come.
So, what about you? Why do you do what you do? Give it some thought and you might have greater insight into…you.