I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. —Joan Didion
When I tell people I’m a writer, they often reply, “How exciting!” That always makes me smile, because—as anyone who has done it knows—writing is anything but exciting. True, having a book published is exciting. But writing itself...the actual act of sitting down and wrestling words onto the paper and struggling to arrange them so that they make sense and are remotely interesting isn’t really terribly exciting. It’s challenging and lonely and mostly looks like sitting still and being very quiet for hours on end. It’s not very instagrammable, at least not the way I do it.
Simply put, I write because it brings me great joy.
But writing can bring a deep joy that many other jobs can’t. Joy is different from happiness—and very different from fun. Joy points more toward the idea of doing the work that one is meant to be doing, and the feeling of accomplishment one feels when one has achieved something difficult. Simply put, I write because it brings me great joy. Not in every moment, perhaps. But in the sense that it is a journey that I have willingly chosen, and move forward on every day.
What Is Your Reason?
For each of us, the reason we write is unique. Some of us write to communicate with others. Some write to communicate with ourselves. Some write to remember and record. Some write to let go. Whatever your reason (and your reason may change from project to project), it’s a good idea to check in with yourself. Why do you write? This is today’s prompt on Bookflow, so log in and take a few moments to answer this question for yourself. Then, whenever you experience frustration, doubt, or loneliness, you can look back on this reflection and remind yourself of why you began the journey in the first place.