I write because I love books. This world can be a pretty annoying place to be, and that is, in part, why I love books and writing. Books take me away from this sometimes ugly (though often beautiful) world. I write for fun, I write for escapism, I write because I am simply compelled to. I can’t not do it. After reading a book every week or two since I was in second grade, it was natural to make the leap from reading other people’s creations to making my own. In that way, the answer to the question of why I write is quite straightforward.
Maybe a question with an answer that approaches the proper length for this essay is: Why do I keep writing?” The answer is still because I love books. But, the fact that I, and so many other writers, persist in loving writing is perhaps weird. I mean, chances are so high that you’ll never gain enough success to quit your real job, let alone success enough to be able to tell people “I’m a writer,” with any degree of confidence that the listener is not thinking, “Yeah, suuuure you are. Uh huh,” and fearing that you’re going to try to push your work on them and they’ll have to get through it and come up with something nice to say about a second rate pile of tropes. And sure, you know your work isn’t a second rate pile of tropes, but people who haven’t read it don’t know that. Yet.
Unless you’re super successful and making a ton of money as a writer (or artist, or musician, or anything in the realm of the arts), people think it’s just a cute hobby. They don’t understand the need to create unless they happen to be a creative type themselves, or unless they happen to be just really cool people.
If you let yourself, you can get a bit down about the fact that some people think it would be better for you to just give it up since you’re clearly not going to succeed. Odds of monetary success are, of course, super slim. But money’s not everything. Not at all. Money and success are not why I write. That would be insane. Though, a few months ago I did make enough at writing to pay the grocery bill for the week! Yay me! That was cool, and I’d happily take more money for my writing whenever the people with the money and the book power want to throw it my way.
But until the impossible happens, I’ll just ignore the people who think being a writer is silly, and I’ll appreciate all the supportive people in my life, and I’ll write for escapism and because I love books.