I am fairly sure that most of us write because we have to. It is a passion – a calling.
For most writers fame is a by-product and not really wanted. Personally I find it embarrassing to be recognised. I never know what to say – and hey, writing is just stuff I do. It’s nothing special.
But some people do write because it gives them a burst of lime-light – or, in the case of non-fiction, because they gain status within narrow peer groups. This last is how universities seem to work.
As far as I am concerned, craving fame – or status – is the wrong reason to write. I suspect that most authors who write as a device for fame usually aren’t, themselves, necessarily good writers. Non-fiction authors who write to validate their personal worth through perceived status in their field usually end up embittered, viciously attacking others they think have the status they want themselves.
All these are the wrong reasons to write. The right ones? Because it is a calling; because it is a passion. Because it’s fun. Because it’s important. Because you have to.
Because through writing you can give something intangible to somebody else. Make their life better. Knowledge – reading pleasure – enjoyment. Being able to give something in this way, surely, is where writers should be aiming.
What do you figure? And why do you write?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013
Coming up: ‘Write it now’, more writing tips, more geekery. Watch this space.