Why write?

by Mary May Larmoyeuxfog ml

I loved Karen Jordan’s StoryWriting Studio post of January 7. She compared the necessity of white space in a document (margins, the space between the words, graphs, or pictures) to the need for empty space in life. Then she shared her word for 2014: “Enough!”

Can you identify with Karen’s cry for balance? I sure can. And that leads me to a question that every writer surely asks: “Why do I write?”

Poet Frances Payne Adler knows why she writes: ” It’s a physical thing with me. I can’t not write it. Like I can’t not eat, or sleep, or even breathe.”

Brian Klem (author and online editor of WritersDigest.com) seems to agree. “It’s in my blood,” he says.  ” … I live it, I breathe it. How many other professions start each day with the question, Where is my imagination going to take me today?”

Like Adler and Klem, I write because I have to. Writing enables me to process life—through scribbles on little sheets of paper and small notebooks filled with reminders, “Write about this someday.”

But, as New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman admits, sometimes writing is hard. He compares it to a long hard walk or a trudge through the fog. He says that sometimes, “You’re scared you’ve lost your way and can’t remember why you set out in the first place.”

Whenever you wonder why you are writing, Gaiman says, “Remember why you set out on that walk in the first place … [When] the story comes to life, suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it’s about and why you’re doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. … it’s magic and wonderful and strange.”

Now, let me ask you a question, “Why do you write?”

Story writing Journey:

Prayerfully consider why you are wanting to write stories about your life and family. Then jot down the reason on a small card and put it by your computer. Read it whenever you think about giving up.

Also take some time this week to read one or two of Writers’ Digest’s top 2013 articles about writing.

Post and picture copyright © 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Read more:

Stories shape history

What difference does a deadline make?

How to begin to tell your personal stories

What’s extraordinary about your life?


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8 thoughts on “Why write?

  1. Karen Jordan January 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for mentioning my post, Mary! When we first began the SWS, we asked for submissions from other writers, asking that same question, “Why do you write?” I hope that everyone will check our our archives for those posts. Here’s a link to mine, “My Writing Dreams” https://storywritingstudio.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/writin-dreams

    I hope other writers will tell us their stories, don’t you?


  2. marymaylarmoyeux January 12, 2014 at 8:23 am Reply

    Thanks, Karen. Yes, it would be great if others would share their stories with StoryWriting Studio! And thanks for giving the link to your post on why you write.


    • Karen Jordan January 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm Reply

      I invited other writers to share their stories on my post today, “Why Do I Write?” Looking forward to hearing their stories, too.


  3. Why Do I Write? | StoryWriting Studio January 13, 2014 at 12:01 am Reply

    […] “Why write?” Mary Larmoyeux asked that question to us her post last week. So, I wanted to answer her question with a revised version of my initial post on this topic. […]


  4. Facing Another New Year | Karen Jordan January 13, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply

    […] StoryWriting Studio. I answered the question, “Why Do I Write?” in this week’s post. [Mary Larmoyeux, another SWS Contributor, asked our readers to consider this question in her recent post, "Why Write?"] […]


  5. […] Why Write? […]


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