What drives you to write? We know that writing transforms our thoughts into stories, lessons, and exploration. It challenges us to find the best way to teach, transport, transform, solve problems, and raise awareness through words and stories. It gives us the definitive power to express our thoughts to readers and to ourselves. Ultimately, writing makes our random thoughts something concrete and valid.

Some of us write as a business while others write for because it’s something that brings us peace. Some want to publish books, become well-known, and well-respected, and some simply want to express themselves with no intention of ever sharing their words. There is no right or wrong. As you will see, the reasons writers write varies widely. As I’ve written about before, knowing your why behind writing, is one of the secrets to your success as a writer.

I asked hundreds of writers why they write. Here are just some of their responses (as they wrote them):

      1. If I didn’t, my head would explode from too many ideas. (also, it was a great way to spend my math classes in high school).
      2. To silence the demons in my head
      3. To tell a story and, hopefully, tell it well.
      4. To weave the feelings and experiences within into a hopefully well spun yarn.
      5. I write my true stories about following inner guidance and intuition. When I’m present and in the moment I experience more stories to write about! The more I write, the better my life gets!!
      6. …cause I have no choice but to write. I know no other way.
      7. I write because I love it, not because the voices in my head demand it (they do demand it). Plus it allows me to visit places in my mind that I can only dream about. It allows me to get rid of any emotional crap I’m going through.
      8. Because if I don’t, the voices in my head will eat me.
      9. Cause it comes naturally to me.
      10. I started to write because I loved stories and wanted new ones all the time. Then I wrote to make a living. I still do but I also find time to write stories, still.
      11. The ideas keep crowding my brain.
      12. To free up space in my brain… I enjoy story telling. I have a 5 year old and she helps me come up with my ideas for most of my stories.
      13. To stay sane..and hopefully one day it will be a career.
      14. I write because the little people inside my head tells me to, and because talking to them back make people around me uncomfortable.
      15. Relieves mental backpressure.
      16. Most writers write because they have a story to tell. for me, I write because I envision a story and I know I must get it on paper to keep it fresh in my mind. Then it inclines my to turn it into a story, white becomes a book eventually.
      17. To understand at a deeper level.
      18. Because I must.
      19. I write because the stories in my head won’t shut up. They demand to be written. It is my stress relief and my enjoyment.
      20. I write because I like to escape reality. Also I don’t live the life I want to. Where as I can in my stories and books.
      21. Mostly for self-expression
      22.  To tell my story.
      23. It is both a catharsis and therapy for me.
      24. I have no choice.
      25. It has always been in me to write never knew anything else.
      26. I write to pass the time and try to make extra money.
      27. Life is so fickle, it’s my way of capturing a moment and keep it alive. A way to say “I was here” and tell the story of people I know and sometimes, people I imagine. I think Ray Bradbury quotes it best for me “You must stay drunk on writing so reality doesn’t destroy you.”
      28. Because I have to. I have all these ideas rattling around in my brain and if I don’t write them down, they take over and I cannot concentrate on anything else. It gets so bad that I get antsy if I haven’t written for a few days and I have trouble focusing on anything.
      29. Utterly compelled to do it by the time I could hold a pen. I was writing poetry at the age of 4…by the age of 8 I was writing dark passages about the Vietnam War. I have just always needed to do it. And it’s easy for me….. I suppose the way sports are easy for others.
      30. The answer becomes “because I always have.” It’s possible that I continue to write because thoughts floating freely in the mind are not very productive, and can be quite destructive, until they’re harnessed, arranged, and examined. Writing does that.
      31. I like to tell unusual stories. Stories that interest me, and I hope others. Not sure where they all come from, but I enjoy working with them, making them as vivid, as real, and as compelling as I can.
      32. To process and understand my own life.
      33. Because when I do that I don’t follow others, this is my land! Just mine.
      34. I write it for my pleasure!
      35. I can’t stop writing. If I could stop, I would stop and go swimming or curl up with a good book somebody else slaved over. But I can’t stop, so I write.
      36. To tell stories. Hopefully stories that are just as compelling/interesting on the last page as they were on the first. – The goal, to hold the readers attention all the way through, leave them thinking: “Now, that was a great story.”
      37. Creative passion
      38. I write stories so kids learn about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay.
      39. I’ve always created stories in my head. I just don’t see the world the way other people do. I write so I don’t lose my mind. Really.
      40. I write to get health, fitness and motivation out to the world. The healthier people are the easier it is to do anything you want in life and I want to see more people loving life.
      41. I write because I have to. It’s a way of feeling emotions and processing what I see and feel.. A way of making sense of the world.
      42. Free my mind
      43. I write because I can’t NOT write, I see and hear these stories in my brain and they HAVE to be told.
      44. I write because my mind is full of ideas. As a reader, I’ve appreciated and enjoyed so many story lines, symbols, metaphors, plots, and lessons, and many come to mind for me. I want to provide similar enjoyment and inspiration to other readers.It’s a great way to get a message out whether it’s inspirational, motivational, honoring the environment, healthy relationships, you name it!
      45. I write because I can’t not write. I see and hear these stories in my mind, and they have to get out. I’m not quite sane if I can’t put them down.
      46. Because it’s who I am.
      47. Because God told me it’s my super power.
      48. I write because my grandmother was cursed by a Cherokee shaman.
      49. Healthy mind, body, and spirit. — Sometimes I think of my writing as exercise for my brain.
      50. Surrogate for mortality.
      51. I write because I’m an introvert, but have alot to say. Writing for me is not only calming, and allows me to express myself, but fun especially now with all the mediums writers have now to get thier work seen, such as blogs, and other online writing platforms.
      52. Self expression and to help others
      53. Because my rice krispies told me to. They are all wise, and tasty with sugar.
      54. I have so many GRAND TALES.. from my child hood. growing up inthe SOUTH.. MY DAD… my GURU, now gone. and so MUCH fun, to embrace my SOUL and write.
      55. Because there’s so much we do not know.
      56. I write so I don’t lose my mind.
      57. I write for transparency and honest self-expression; to attempt to communicate truly. I write for love.
      58. Because I can, I have to.
      59. I saw a quote once that I liked regarding writing, “I write because kidnapping people and forcing them to act out my imaginary worlds is technically illegal”. *grins*
      60. I write because I have so much inside me. I want to get it out. I want to write what I cannot say aloud.
      61. I enjoy telling stories, and I find it’s so much easier to write them down. Sometimes I just start with a thought and let it write itself.
      62. God gave me this gift. He allows me to be creative, to visit different worlds, to meet new people, and to share the idea that we all struggle through the human condition.
      63. Attempts to correct the historical record based on greater evidence, and to offer more accurate information.
      64. I visualize what I have to write and it is great to put it down on paper.
      65. To shut up the people in my head.
      66. I write to practice my imagination and grammar/literature skills.
      67. I write because there is a voice inside of me that needs to be free.
      68. To feel my freedom through my fingers!
      69. To get the visions that I have onto paper, and because I enjoy it.
      70. To stop the endless stream of repeated musings. It is only when I write that my mind moves on and progresses further into the stories.
      71. It is very relaxing and takes my mind off some of the negativity in the world. I also like to glorify God and give praise to Him when I write. It is a great way to witness to others as well.
      72. I write because i love to write, i love to write letters etc. im just getting started. but i have always loved to write even as a kid and now that I’m still a kid, I love new paper and pens!!
      73. I write because the pen serves as my blood, sweat and tears flowing upon the paper…
      74. I’ve always loved being creative, in different ways, but especially telling stories.
      75. I like to change the endings to real situations by changing the whole thing to a fantasy story!
      76. I write to express my feelings.
      77. I love words and the only way to pay homage is combine them beautifully to communicate an idea. I’m a writer after all.
      78. I want to bring amazing characters to life and since I don’t extensively plan out my stories, it’s fun to figure it out as I go and discover my own story in a way.
      79. It is a therapy for me. I want to promote love.
      80. Why do I breathe? Because I have to.
      81. Because I have something important to say.
      82. So I write to change the world, and I hope to be able to get the world to embrace a new religion that merges spirituality with technology.
      83. I write because I love stories. Whether I’m reading the story or writing it, I really love a good tale.
      84. Psychotherapy
      85. To let emotions out
      86. It’s in my blood…if I don’t write I feel like I’m not myself…plus my characters are like my friends if I don’t tell their story they get mad…lol…honestly…it has always been my way of making sense of the world…I love to write a happy ending…There’s no one reason I just do.
      87. It de-stresses me and it gets things off my chest, particularly when the villain is someone I don’t like and they come to a sticky end!!!!
      88. To rid myself of goosebumps
      89. Money.
      90. If something around me bothers me, I immediately have to write about it and also my personal experiences.
      91. To open up worlds for readers, and to open their eyes to see their own world in a deeper way. Those are two small reasons.
      92. I write because I wanted to share my stories with my readers. Oh, yes, I would also like to make a couple of bucks as well.
      93. Because I can’t sing or dance.
      94. Memories of long gone friends.
      95. Soul alchemy
      96. I feel it is what i was born to do.
      97. The world doesn’t want to deal with all the emotion I want to throw at it, but they love to read about it. If it”s in a book, it’s safe, it isn’t real. So, writing became my safe outlet.
      98. I write to project the social issues which are hurting a class of unrepresented people. That way I feel as if I’m a petition writer for them.
      99. My life is so dull and ho-hum, I’m only alive in my writing… Those characters are me…. or the me I’d like to be.
      100. Social commentary.. or if you can not say it openly, then write it as a comedy or fiction.
      101. Why do I write….because it gives me something to do between breakfast and happy hour.

Do you see yourself in these answers or is it something else? Leave your reason in the comments and keep the conversation going!

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