On Thursday I started up a discussion thread on Amazon UK entitled ‘Why Do We Write?’ It’s a question that’s always intrigued me.
Even as a child I used to invent characters and write down their stories; sewing the hand-written pages together to make tiny books. Also, I am absolutely fascinated by the transference of ideas and images by the use of words: spoken or written. Those of us lucky enough to have an education often take writing and reading for granted, but they are such amazing and liberating skills. That the pixels on this screen are making my thoughts live in your head is impressive enough, but the fact that pixels on a screen/ ink on a page/ spoken sounds/ signing could also recreate in your head a version of a scene that has only ever existed in my imagination is quite wonderful. But the reading isn’t passive: each of us will ‘see’ something different.
In writing stories, and in reading them, each of us brings our own imagination to the process – a true meeting of minds.
So, for me, the answer to my own question would be that I write out of a love of imagining and story telling, and a desire to get the stories written down so that readers can create and enter into my imagined worlds.
What came up, from several contributors to the thread, was their absolute need to write their stories down – if only for their own mental health They spoke of characters filling their heads; characters whose stories demanded to be told. Strong stuff, but I understand what they mean.
Others wrote of the enjoyment of writing: the pleasure of finding out ‘what happens next’. Now that I can definitely relate to ;- )