Since I just finished my novel, I’ve been reflecting a bit about… well, writing. Today I want to share with you guys the reasons why I write.
1. Create a universe
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a space station, float in zero gravity, and devise battle plans against a neighbouring intergalactic colony? Have you ever wanted to go to a school of vampires, or werewolves, or wizards? How about just a small town in northern Canada, where people start going missing one by one, and the townspeople have to figure out whodunnit?
Whether it is an alternate universe, or just a small pocket of everyday life, the world that we create becomes real.
2. Live vicariously through our own characters
To be honest, guys, life isn’t always the most interesting, and life isn’t always the most kind. Adulting kind of sucks. Whether we are angry, or sad, or just bored, writing is a great way to jump out of our own skin and into someone else’s. The best part is: we get to create who that character will be.
3. Create a story
There’s something amazing about stories, isn’t there? What I love about stories is that there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. I love that there are characters that we can relate to, and a message that stays with us even after we turn the last page.
As a child (and, well, as an adult), I loved to daydream and think up stories in my head. Writing lets us bring these daydreams into reality and share them with the world.
4. Pass on a message
Do you have a passion? Do you have a message that you want to scream out to the world? Is there a group that you want to represent? Do you want to empower women by creating a kick-ass female character? Or do you want to fight stigma? Or, do you simply want to inspire courage, or compassion, or perseverance?
I believe that, more than anything else, stories can change hearts.
5. Learn about the world
If you are writing about something that you are unfamiliar about, chances are, you will have to do some research. And believe me, researching for the sake of a story is more fun than any research that we would ever do for school or for work.
For my novel, I’ve learned more than I will ever know otherwise about art history, mental illness, and prescription drug abuse (I know, heavy stuff). Although not all of these topics made it into my actual story, I enjoyed every bit of the research that I did, and I am so glad for what I learned about the world in the process.
6. It’s about the journey
When I mention that I am writing a novel to my friends or family, a common question I get is, “Are you going to publish it?” The thing is, I’ve always wanted to publish a novel. Who doesn’t? All writers want to get their story out to the world. Our story is like our baby, and we want to watch our baby grow and blossom.
I did some research about publishing (that really ought to be a whole
blog post blog of its own), and… well, the harsh reality is that it’s really darn hard. And I realize that if I write for the sake of publishing, then writing wouldn’t be fun anymore. When I write for the sake of writing, that’s when I enjoy it the most and when I produce the best work.
As you guys can see, I am quite inspired by The Sound of Music today :’)