Why Do You Write?

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Think about it.  Do you write for money?  For fame?  Maybe you have something vital to say, or is your writing simply an inexplicable obsession?  

The answer to this question, the WHY that lies beneath our writing, holds so much intrigue that I ran a poll on Facebook and Twitter asking authors the same simple question, “Why do you write?”

There were over 100 responses.  Many of them were highly revealing, so I’ve listed some of them here.  Furthermore, please do tell me why YOU write.  Leave a comment below. I’m interested to know your thoughts, even if it is simply an ‘inexplicable obsession’.

When asked “Why Do You Write?” here’s what authors had to say…
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FB-commentsBethany AverieBethany Averie
Because so many ideas bounce around in my head that I HAVE to get them out. I love to create stories.

Jacquee-T-DetourJacquee T Detour
Because I need to — to release stories and characters per novels, and also to share experiences expositorily. Although I’m prolific verbally, I am much more so when given a pen or tapping a keyboard.

Kathy-McManis-HolzapfeKathy McManis Holzapfel
It’s the one thing that has consistently called me, my entire life. It’s also how I make meaning in my world.


Mary-Reason-TheriotMary Reason Theriot
I find it great therapy in my fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Through writing I can find some sort of escape from the pain. It also allows a chance for my imagination to really come alive.

Aaron-RoarkAaron Roark
I write because I love to write. Also people apparently like to read what I write. (I have a book on kindle with around 2500 downloads to date.)


Harrington-MartinHarrington Martin
The voices need a journal.

 

Alisha-Costanzo-ChambersAlisha Costanzo Chambers
To quiet the voice in my head. Otherwise, I would be lost in a world with no escape. Although in opposition, I write to escape from the reality of the world. When I become aware of the violence and hate and destruction in the world, I disappear into the minds of my characters and their stories.

Lana-Lynne-HigginbothamLana Lynne Higginbotham
Storytellers and books captured me at a young age. The first time my fingers found a typewriter at the age of ten, my first story flowed. I laid writing aside for a time. Then one of my unfinished stories and characters stirred. I answered and haven’t stopped since.

Margaret-BlakeMargaret Blake
Because I love it … always been a storyteller of sorts.

 

Jennifer-FallawJennifer Fallaw
To empower children

 

Jeff-OlahJeff Olah
I get to direct a movie that’s playing in my head. EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I love it.


Robyn-P-HirstRobyn P Hirst 

Because I love it – I wake with the bones of a story or hear a conversation or have a title in mind and write….I love to read a good tale that leaves me wanting to know ‘what happens next’.

Diana-ShallardDiana Shallard
I write because it is my calling.
And you shouldn’t ignore your calling, right?


Lynn-Shanks-CostelliLynn Shanks Costelli 
My characters threaten to haunt me if I don’t.

 

Kyle-GarrettKyle Garrett
Because I have stories I want to tell, and also because I want money and recognition. I’m not going to lie, heh.


Bard-ConstantineBard Constantine

To exorcise the people that haunt my mind…

 

Schuyler-FlynnSchuyler Flynn
Because it’s a good escape into a world you have almost total control of.

 

Maureen-TurnerMaureen Turner
I am not the world’s greatest achiever but the power that comes from creating characters and dictating what they do is phenomenal.


Krysia-JopekKrysia Jopek
It’s in my blood. The purpose of my existence. Can’t not write

 

Natasha-HardybooksNatasha Hardybooks
Because it’s painting with words and like art it transcends continents and culture barriers and reminds me of what it is to be human.

Linda-Howell-BetzLinda Howell Betz

Writing is my passion, but I also have a passion for wounded hurting people, and I write stories of hope!


Karen-DoddKaren Dodd

After a weekend of fixing “glitches” with my MS for beta-readers, I’m actually asking myself that right now! Why DO I write?? But the truth of it is, because I must; in some perverse way, it feeds my soul:)

April-LewisApril Lewis
I write because I have a passion for it. Just like Peter Pan. If you take away his shadow he’s only half a boy. If you take away my writing I’m only half of a woman. Writing is part of me. It’s who I am and who I want to be.

Angela-TownsendAngela Townsend
Because storytelling is the one thing that has always been part of me. It’s as natural as the color of my eyes. I can’t comprehend life without the companionship of a story waiting to be told. It would be a lonely existence indeed without my multitudes of imaginary friends. I say that seriously, with a smile.

Jan-HunterJan Hunter
Always have. Always will. A catharsis, a joy, a creation, a stimulant for the imagination. Certainly not for the money!


PJ-DeanPj Dean
I really, truly know I’d be extremely unhappy if I didn’t. It’s not about being the next whoever. It’s about being the only ME. And about making people take their minds off the humdrum, and the troubles in life for a few hours when reading my work.

Pat-StuartPat Stuart
I write because I have something to say that can inform, teach, inspire and enhance another person’s life!


Elizabeth-A-MartinaElizabeth A Martina, Author
I have all sorts of stories in my head that need telling. How can I not tell them?

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The Last Word…
J.Edward PaulI’ve discovered a charming, not-to-be-missed post about what motivates a writer to write by author J. Edward Paul.   You can read it at this link.  He outlines the ‘family’ reason he writes, and why he’s at peace with it.


So tell me:  Why do YOU write?  What motivates you to ‘summon your muse’?
Please leave a comment below.

Jonathan Gunson

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs

 

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Comments

  • James Loftus says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:19am

    Because I was born to.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:25am

      Yes you were James. Indeed you were.
      See Ray Bradbury video http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-sell-8-million-books
      ~Jonathan

    • October 9, 2013 at 4:49pm

      I have lived a very full and interesting life and have done a lot of traveling. I write to tell people about all of my experiences, as some of them are really outstanding.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 10, 2013 at 4:33am

        Ruth
        Extensive travel experience brings a broadened mind, from which one’s writing benefits greatly.
        “I hear and I forget;
        I see and I remember;
        I write and I understand.”
        Chinese Proverb
        ~ Jonathan

    • October 10, 2013 at 8:19pm

      I write to express myself. I feel like I have been repressed all my life ( I am 48 years old) and now it is the time to let it go. I live in a society (Egypt) where woman are subjugated in many ways and they don’t even know it or admit it. The Egyptian society is the embodiment of hypocrisy and someone who is frank and straight forward life would not be easy.
      I also write as a hobby, after loosing my job and having so much time on my hand I would like to use it in something useful. useful to myself as a way of expression and useful to others as a way of sharing experiences in life.
      Yes, I dream that my book will become a best seller and would be made into a successful movie. I dream that I will receive an Oscar for best screenwriting and make a speech to the public. I dream of becoming a wealthy and prominent writer who will have such an influence on society… I dream…I dream… Of course I know that none of that will ever be true, I am a realistic person and have my two feet on earth, but after all dreams are gratis, you can even have two dreams and get the third free.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 11, 2013 at 2:18am

        Omneya
        You paint a vivid picture of your situation. Thing is, I have been to Egypt, which has its own magic and beauty, so I understand your travails to a certain extent – but only as far as one can at this distance. So here’s some ‘juice’ for you:

        “Work at your craft, write daily, and follow your dreams
        because dreams do come true.” Christopher Paul Curtis

        ~Jonathan

    • October 12, 2013 at 1:03am

      “Like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous”-Toni Morrison, Sula

      If I did not write, I would be dangerous.

    • espiteau says:
      October 14, 2013 at 5:30am

      I write to fill what I think is missing…

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 14, 2013 at 7:23am

        Welcome to Bestseller Labs after your voyage here from Twitter.
        ~ Jonathan

    • October 30, 2013 at 9:06am

      I write because it gives my joy and hopefully my readers too.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:19am

    I write because . . . I have to. It’s a part of me. It’s how I vent. It’s how I explore new possibilities. It’s how I cope with stress (though writing can admittedly cause its own kind of stress).

    When I write, I am myself.

    • enea says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:22am

      communication is the best way in the world.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 9, 2013 at 7:30am

        Agreed. No man is an island.
        ~ Jonathan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:30am

      LGK
      “It’s part of me…” Absolutely. How amazingly fortunate writers are. We KNOW.
      ~Jonathan

      • October 9, 2013 at 7:35am

        I like that

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 10, 2013 at 7:01am

          Me too Maxine :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:40am

      LGK
      You write “Because it is a part of me.” “When I write, I am myself.” This needs no further explanation, it’s your vocation without question. Nevertheless there is always stress to tackle, self-doubt being the biggest. But true vocation will rip through that every time.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:22am

    Writing is my gift, I love bringing characters to life who people can relate to in one way or another! I hope my writing can uplift and inspire people to make the changes they need to in their lives!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:35am

      Hana
      “… bringing characters to life..” A great gift that many let slip through their fingers.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:22am

    So many people talk of an inner compulsion – I partly agree. The ideas are there in my head, but if I don’t write them down they disappear and that feels like a loss. Sometimes I think of all the words that I have ‘lost’ and determine not to lose any more than I can help.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:34am

      Margaret
      Loss of great ideas verges on criminal. So I carry scraps of paper and also cart an iPad around with memo software to record ideas on the fly – ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE.
      ~Jonathan

    • October 9, 2013 at 5:02pm

      Well, I was told that if I was driving and had a thought of something to write, I was to immediately pull the car off to the side of the road and write it down. Otherwise, that thought might land in the mind of the driver behind me. ;- ) I call it Drive-By Writing. I may never have another chance. Now my desk and secret compartments are pockmarked with millions of post it notes filled with ideas and words. It’s worth it to save everything. Each teensy word may be the inspiration for a book one day.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 10, 2013 at 10:58am

        Amused by “Drive-By Writing.” I learn something new every day in this book publishing universe.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:24am

    to engage, absorb and entertain a reader

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:31am

      Colin
      Good tacticals to have at your elbow. ‘Engage’ in particular yes?
      ~Jonathan

  • Jeff Olah says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:24am

    Jonathan –

    Awesome post!

    Thanks for the include.

    Have a great night.

    Take care

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:32am

      Always look forward to your ebullient comments Jeff! Inclusion deserved.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:24am

    I write because it is better than not writing.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:37am

      Fair enough Dan, although a spark of inspiration might be applicable from time to time…
      ~Jonathan

      • October 10, 2013 at 4:16am

        The question was why do I write, not where I find inspiration. If I knew where that spark of inspiration came from, I would visit more often. I simply write and the stories arise of their own accord.

        I will say this: when I tell people I’m a writer, they invariably inform me how they too want to write a book. They will get to it one of these days, but hey! There are TV shows to watch and they work all day so when they get home they’re too tired and the spouse wants to go out to eat and I’ll start my book as soon as I figure out what to say and yada yada yada. There are a hundred thousand excuses not to write.

        So when I say writing is better than not writing, I’m seeking to inspire those who aren’t writing and yet have something to say. For those that have to write, who are compelled to write, hell-o, I don’t have to give them a kick in the pants.

        All those other reasons to write are great reading but they are secondary. The only real reason to write is because it is better than not writing. Period. If you wait for that spark of inspiration, you’re going to be sitting there a long time, my friend.

        Thank you.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 10, 2013 at 4:28am

          Dan.
          Thank you – understand your meaning now.
          That was in fact the first advice my father gave me on my asking how to write: “Start writing.” Not dreaming of writing, but actually writing. In light of this, I tend to direct writers looking for the ‘secret of writing’ to this 3 minute video by author Maeve Binchy… sobering, apt.
          http://bestsellerlabs.com/maeve-binchy-her-writing-secrets-interview/
          ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:31am

    Because if I don’t, all that stuff in my head will become real. I have to write to keep that from happening. I write murder mysteries… you see.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:39am

      Thomas
      Remind me to keep a discreet distance and a wary eye out at all times :)

      Your Andalusia author-publishing business looks like fine offering http://www.andalusiapress.com/

      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:32am

    I write because it’s refreshing and my mind is constantly brainstorming and moving thinking of new idea so that I can make people laugh or feel better. It’s like I can become part of the story or be myself or any character I choose to be. I actually put myself in my story while writing it and after its done I read it myself, because if I can’t feel it or see it than the person reading it won’t either. I like to make people feel like the story is their own. THEY can be on the edge of the seat or bent over in laughter. That’s why I write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:45am

      Maxine … losing yourself in the story / becoming part of it WHILE YOU WRITE is a huge achievement for a writer – closely allied to Ian Hodge’s comment about the writing comes ‘through’ him. “Flow”. Exciting to hear.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:36am

    I write to honor American heroes — soldiers, medics, rescue workers, etc.! (And also because I’m sick and tired of the trash that gets on the bestseller lists these days!)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:41am

      Dennis
      When there is purpose in a book, a great cause, and ‘something to say’ – such as with your topic – a writer has a huge advantage. Beats the trash as you say.
      ~Jonathan

  • Ian Hodge says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:36am

    I don’t write, the writing just comes through me.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:42am

      Ian
      The ‘Flow’ yes? It’s what every writer or creative person seeks at every turn.
      ~Jonathan

  • Venkatesh Iyer says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:40am

    All my life, I have been people extolling my writing skills: my teachers, my classmates, my work colleagues, my family.

    It is time to find out the truth for myself.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:47am

      Venkatesh
      A ‘break out’ moment. But many say this and then fall off the horse at the first hurdle. Are you on for the whole writer’s ride? (It’s a career / lifetime thing.)
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:41am

    I think most writers do it to show off. I write in the desperate hope that eventually I will get good at it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:51am

      I seem to recall a comment made in one of your own blog posts Drayton… “The Twists and Turns of a Wasted Life…” Considering the warmly insightful, creative impact you’ve made on me, and no doubt on so many others, instead of bleak introspection, feel utterly appreciated Sir. You have no idea, ’tis deserved in truckloads.
      ~Jonathan

  • Dawn Millen says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:48am

    I write because the stories are there in my head and won’t let up until I write them. I am driven by the stories.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:34am

      “Driven by the stories …” It’s 100% your vocation, no question.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Doris says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:49am

    I write because there’s always a story waiting for a script. Any story, once written, belongs to our reality as well, not just to heavens of fantasy from whence it came. Eventually, every fantasy is a reality, somewhere…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:55am

      Agree Doris
      Stories await the artisan’s skill. I’m in the thick of one right now, or more correctly have finished wrangling a complex storyline into shape at last. Huge sense of euphoria at that moment. Seems simple now on reading, which unfortunately totally belies the work that went in!
      ~Jonathan

  • albert says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:51am

    I write because there is no greater challenge I can give myself.

  • Violet A. says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:54am

    I write because the words are persistent.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 7:59am

      Definitely sounds like a ‘calling’ Violet … definitely.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:54am

    Because it allows me to communicate with my inner self as well as with the outside world.

    Because there are so many worlds and stories running around in my head that, unless I get them out through writing, will eventually drive me insane.

    Because, as many people have said, there’s no story not worth telling or listening (reading) to.

    Because I want to and I need to and I love doing it.

  • Roseanne Salyer says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:55am

    I write because I can’t stop writing. I have many words written, but no book to answer for it, yet. I have started the same story over and over, but can’t seem to get past the beginning.
    The stories in my head are people. The only way to get any peace is to write them down. Taking them out to let them talk, I suppose. Sometimes, I talk to them. I only noticed I was doing this because my family would always ask who I was talking to. Not out loud, although, I suppose that’s only matter of time. Crazy? I think you need to be a little off in order to do what we do.
    I love writing. It’s wonderful, frustrating and fulfilling. I think my story is good, I only hope others think so, as well.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:03am

      Roseanne
      Re starting. Try starting the story at a place much later than where it does at the moment. You can always come back and add some on the front end if you want to. But I suspect you won’t. (Same applies to the ending. Finish it a little earier – at least, as soon as possible after the story resolution.)
      ~Jonathan

      • Roseanne Salyer says:
        October 10, 2013 at 1:38am

        Thank you for that idea. That occurred to me, but I didn’t want to leave the beginning behind. Maybe a few well chosen flashbacks? I will try it and let you know. You always have such insightful suggestions. Thanks, again.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 10, 2013 at 7:04am

          Roseanne
          Flashbacks are ideal at the right moment, they can be revealing Aha! moments… as long as they advance the story and don’t sidetrack it down a rabbit hole. Need to keep moving forwards.
          ~ Jonathan

    • October 10, 2013 at 4:32pm

      I chose to write cozy mysteries, set in rural Texas near San Antonio, an area my father’s family settled around 1825. My fictional characters and stories are based on the present and the past in DeWitt County.

      I took a creative writing class with Stan Rice, poet and brilliant teacher, at San Francisco State University, in the late 1970s, before his wife’s first novel was published (Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire). The text for the class was Susanne Langer’s Feeling and Form, a theory of art. “Art is the creation of form symbolic of human feeling.”

      I left San Francisco and returned to San Antonio, took journalism classes, and worked in Houston as a journalist while my daughter grew up. I wrote feature stories, not fictional novels.

      Now retired, I write fictional novels. The first one, Cemetery Whites, is published as a Kindle or Nook. The second is finished and should be published soon.

      Why do I write? “Art is the creation of form symbolic of human feeling.” I want people to read my books if the books suit their feelings–cozy mysteries, not sci-fi, thriller mysteries, and so on. They don’t suit me to read or write; never have.

      Connie Knight

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 11, 2013 at 2:34am

        Connie
        Answered further on in the comments in your second post…
        ~ Jonathan

  • Tom Gold says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:02am

    Well done for asking the big question, what a massive response! Someone said you should only write a book if you absolutely positively have to, that was why I did it but concur with your man Harrison Martin that the ‘the voices need a journal’
    Winter starting to show its claws here in Scotland so figure you’re about due to update me with how balmy and warm it is down there in Middle Earth! T

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:09am

      Tom

      Always good to ‘see’ you Sir. Re Harrison Martin ‘the voices need a journal’… Agreed.

      I also fell about at Scott Zachery’s ‘Breaking Bad’ reference:
      “Sky high stacks. Yo. And the babes, definitely the babes.”

      Weather is rising to warmth in the South Pacific. Balmy days ahead.
      ~Jonathan

  • Michelle says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:08am

    For the dough!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:10am

      Michelle
      Ha ha! And they say honesty is a virtue. Re Money: Remember, aim for the target, not the prize, or you’ll miss both.
      ~Jonathan

  • Les Ey says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:09am

    I write so that I can rewrite. I rewrite so that I can take a plain sentence and infuse it with words that permeate emotion and paint a lifelike picture. The picture that I would most love to paint would be bleak with a ray of color. The payoff is when someone sees hope in that picture and has an aha moment.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:34am

      You write to bring ‘hope’. That’s a high value, shining rationale in my view, no question.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:10am

    I guess the short answer to the question is therapy.

    I was diagnosed with chronic leukemia (Myelofibrosis) at age 55 in 2003. Physical pursuits are beyond me now (fatigue, low blood counts, strong pain killers to dull the bone marrow pain) and so I decided earlier this year that I needed a new goal to suit my circumstances. I tried my hand at writing a science fiction/fantasy short story that I could read to, or be read by, my grandchildren (currently numbering four, aged 2 to 9), something entirely out of left-field for me.

    The project has become larger than originally envisioned (25,000 words). I’ve nearly finished the first draft and I’m now hoping to self-publish around the end of the year, with middle grade children as the target audience.

    My health is much better than 12 months ago and I attribute this to my focus on writing as my drugs haven’t changed and the disease is not curable.

    https://twitter.com/geoffring9

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:20am

      Geoff
      Following you on Twitter now. Good to know that the creative process is proving to be therapeutic.
      Coincidental too – a cousin told me last week that she is taking professional training in ‘art as therapy’, so the timing of your news is apt. More than anything do read the post I mentioned by J Edward Paul. It will ring a bell with you, considering what you’ve said about writing for your grandchildren.
      http://jedwardpaul.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/writing-my-legacy/
      Please stay in touch re your writing progress. Sci-Fi is close to my heart – as you may have gathered with my Hugh Howey post.
      Jonathan

  • Harold Rowland says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:10am

    I do not twitter or face book and at 86 years starting now is not in my
    plan. I write about the things I have gone through in life good or bad, with
    the idea it may help someone who is able to relate to some of the things that
    life has in store for each of us.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:32am

      Harold
      Twitter? The writing is the main thing in any case. Intrigued now – your reason for writing being to pass on what may be useful – in sagely way. That level of experience brought into stories is virtually irreplaceable. Please stop by again and tell about your stories. Or enlarge here… please.
      ~ Jonathan

      • Harold Rowland says:
        October 31, 2013 at 1:52am

        Just finished one about a dog that was more like a member of the family and had talents hard to understand. title is Mister Mutt A dog’s tale, it is not in circulation as to date. Am working on a new one title A House. A home ! A house? It is the life of a house changes that made it a home and the down hill changes when the people are gone. At 86 the memories are factual.

  • Sue Brown says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:13am

    Because I can.
    Because there are misguided people out there who think that the people I write about can’t/won’t/shouldn’t be allowed to love.
    Because every new experience in my life makes the voices talk a little louder.
    Because the kids need to eat.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:27am

      Write as you will Sue. Your subjects will appreciate.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:14am

    I write because my communication skills have allowed me to say what I want to, and it gave me an excellent career that involved writing. So it is a win-win for me, love what I do and also make a career out of it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:25am

      Vinish
      Many would love to be in your shoes. I can sense your shining optimism.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:14am

    I do it for a woman – that, and I’ve been a storyteller since I was 3 – the rerelease of Disney’s “Jungle Book” to blame. I wanted my whole life to have a finished product out there for intellectual/economic consumption – steppin’ up to that proverbial plate -’cause it’s the best job in the world!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:21am

      Kyle
      “…-’cause it’s the best job in the world!” YO! You’re on the money with that one Kyle. It’s a vocation.
      ~Jonathan

  • Tori de Clare says:
    October 9, 2013 at 8:15am

    I write because I can’t not. It’s compulsive. Impulsive. Necessary. I can’t start a story and not finish it. I have to sit there month after month until it is almost done. I say almost, because it is never done. Perfectionism is a constant nag. The story consumes me. Writing is an art-form and I’m a musician. Writing, along with music-making, is my self-expression.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:24am

      Tori
      Re ‘Perfectionism is a constant nag.’ Can be for sure. And thing is, the same applies to all creative activity. “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” - Leonardo da Vinci
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:40am

    Great dialogue you’ve started, Jonathan. Thank you. There are several reasons why I write, I guess, starting with the fact that I’ve always enjoyed reading, so writing seems like a natural progression. What else? Creativity feels good if it works (and bad if the words sometimes won’t come) because all personal achievement gives meaning to our existence and leaves a legacy to others, no matter how big or small. And let’s not forget the potential to earn a living that way either. The masochistic starving-artist-in-the-garret mentality seems phony to me. Regards and best wishes to all my fellow writers.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:55am

      John
      I see that the cover illustration of your book features painting by Renoir (Baigneuses). Beautiful choice.
      The creative life is the only way to live as far as I am concerned. So writers flow right into that space.
      And, what an interesting existence you have. Writer and ‘dream analyst’. I’m convinced that all dreams mean at least something so that sounds more than authentic to me – unlike the starving artist in the garret. Amusing that.
      Thanks for your insightful comment.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:02am

    Because I can, because I now have the time and because these stories won’t leave me alone.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:59am

      Ian
      If the stories won’t leave you alone, you’re already in flow. That’s the writer’s muse taking charge. Great. Thing is to get practical and get it down – all of it. No breaks, no musings, no goings over.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:12am

    Because I can’t NOT write. There were times when I tried, but it was never going to work.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:47am

      Susan
      Ha ha. Of course it wasn’t going to work. Au contraire… you were put here to do precisely this task. Best get on and WRITE then, no naval gazing allowed. Summon the muse.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:21am

    I write because I don’t know how not to.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:03am

      Shehanne
      A writing addict no less! Same syndrome as athletes who become addicted to training, in particular the ones who have TALENT to leverage. It’s really a way of life. My mother used to tell me that;’ art isn’t a job, or skill… but something that is ‘driven’ – more like a religion and uber-sweet way of life. I’ve always remembered that.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Karen says:
    October 9, 2013 at 9:22am

    It makes my heart sing :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:01am

      AFTER you have written I would hazard a guess Karen? Writing isn’t exactly what I’d call a cake walk. Your ‘heart sings’ I imagine as the massive reward that comes from productivity allied with creativity.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:33am

    Dear Jonathan, like all the classical writers I write because ‘I have something to say’ – in my case to show The Western Ethic the fundamental flaws behind all it stands for which will ensure its inevitable demise. Though it is a series of Romances it is ‘the something to say’ which is the continuing thread which binds the journey down The Golden Path – so there is no ‘plot’ because the reader travels a journey. This is the old Troubadour understanding.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:12am

      Margeret
      ‘Troubadour ‘- an apt choice. I fear you are correct about the eventual potential demise of this western civilization that we have been enjoying. But writings such as yours can draw us all back from the brink. It doesn’t HAVE to happen. All my best wishes for ‘The Golden Path’.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:35am

    Hi Johnathan,
    I write so women can disconnect from their everyday problems and relax. To be drawn into a world that is not their own, and be absorbed in the pages of my novels.

    It’s nice to receive reviews where a reader says they couldn’t put a novel down, that they had to keep reading. This is where the satisfaction comes in. I’ve touched that readers heart. (as per a recent review on Amazon uk) :)

    Suzanne :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:18am

      Suzanne
      ‘You touched readers heart’. That says it all really.
      I feel that is fundamentally the greatest of all the ‘why I write’ rationales presented here. It makes the world a better place, which of course may sound Pollyanna-ish, but I’ve grown weary of the cool, clever cyncism of today’s world. Any fool can be a cynic – it takes very little strength or wit. But it takes cleverness, grit, and genius to create the magic to which you refer.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:53am

    I write to bring some order to myself and in reaction to what’s going on around me whether at home or the world. A voice comes in my head–a character speaking and I have to put him or her on paper. It is borderline craziness maybe. Writing is a good way to take a journey into the unknown. It’s also a socially acceptable way to be a little off the beaten path. A writer is free to create purple skies and yellow grass. But if you were to bring up that possibility in social conversation people would look at you strangely. And yes if you’re creative enough to draw people in, you might get paid.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:34am

      Charles
      Borderline crazy…? No, not in the slightest, although it can seem that way sometimes.
      You see, your existence with writing mirrors mine: The project I’m working on is a permanent creative mission from here on out, and requires me to follow a seminal piece of advice to the letter: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing. This is not your madness Charles, never let anyone tell you that. This, by glorious contrast, is the world of Leonardo Da Vinci, Proust, Tolstoy, Dickens and latterly the great 20th century movie directors. None rode the world on a carousel of ‘sensible’, normal’ or ‘ordinary’.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:56am

    I write because I love reading and I would like to be able to give to others some of the joy I’ve gained from my own reading – escapism, being absorbed into another world, but yet also insight, making sense of whatever life throws at you, optimism. I feel that I have something I want to share and I would like to believe that I make people think and feel more, as I do when I read a good book that has something to say. Also, the trilogy I’m writing now is inspired loosely by events from my own life and is a kind of therapy, I suppose, a looking back and making sense of the world, saying that the human spirit can rise above anything. It’s also a way of suggesting to my children, grandchildren et al, what really happened and how it felt, so that they can understand the truth rather than the myth. http://www.juliaibbotsonauthor.com

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:52am

      Julia
      (Favourite name that) You say you write partly because it’s also a way of suggesting to your children, grandchildren et al, what really happened and how it felt, so that they can understand the truth rather than the myth.
      This is closely akin to J Edward Paul’s view. Do read his blog post – it is warm and insightful.
      ~Jonathan

  • Michael says:
    October 9, 2013 at 9:58am

    I really don’t know why I write. No one else in my family was a writer. It’s something I began doing at a young age and never quit. If there are reasons, then they’re intangible even to me.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:45am

      Michael
      One doesn’t have to explain ‘why I write’ necessarily. It can remain an inexplicable obsession.’
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:11am

    Dear Jonathan, a bit precipitate my last as The Polemic is The Mission but the medium – which is an even more powerful thread – is the myriad roads to Love’s Ultimate Triumph, which fills every chapter. Margaret Montrose.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:26am

      Margaret
      I did gather your drift OK. A deeply thought through work with many levels and consistent continuity of the vital paths you delineate.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:18am

    My writing takes me into another world of people, dreams, trauma and love. It’s in me, yearning to get out onto the page to be shared.
    Thanks for sending the email, I loved the videos – this is an inspiration to us all.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:40am

      Jacqui
      You’re onto it entirely. And here’s some powerful support for your gut feelings: I believe that the imagination is one of the greatest gifts we have… Please don’t ever let it slip through your fingers. I’ll hold you to that, OK?
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:25am

    Hi Jonathan. To me writing is freedom; freedom of expression, freedom to create, freedom to be so much more than I can be in ‘real’ life – to be brave, witty and wise. To travel through time and see history unfold. To create new worlds and to save them from the forces of evil. To bring joy to others, and to ease their burdens or sorrows, even for a short time, by taking them on a journey where they too can experience and be all these things and more.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:54am

      Maggie
      Quoting you “… To bring joy to others, and to ease their burdens or sorrows, even for a short time, by taking them on a journey where they too can experience and be all these things and more…”
      This was also the lasting ethos of Shakespearean Theater that is still with us today. A ‘transport of delight’ to sweep away the cares for an hour or two.
      ~ Jonathan

  • floyd merrell says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:32am

    It depends on the meaning of “I” and “is.” If it was, it isn’t. If it could be, it wouldn’t. If it will have been, it won’t. Whatever “it” is, it ain’t. So “it” writes as proxy for “I.” Could “it” have done otherwise?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:51am

      Floyd
      Syntactical gymnastics aside, why do YOU write? ‘Cogito ergo sum’ should cover it for you. To be a writer… is meant to be in your case.
      ~Jonathan

  • PD Watts says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:57am

    So much to say: so little time to say it. There were too many years I didn’t when I should have.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:11am

      PD W.
      We are of the same mind re wasting time not doing what we should have been doing re creativity. But, that’s how it is. Fortunately we still have at least some years up our sleeves yet, so let’s box on with intent now that we KNOW.
      ~ Jonathan

      • October 9, 2013 at 2:39pm

        Creators by Elliott Judin. I write because I think I have developed a unique and original story.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 9, 2013 at 8:39pm

          Elliott
          That is close to ART of course.
          i.e. Invoking the creative ‘interpretive’ powers of the individual when they go to town on an idea = unique piece of writing. This is one of the great strengths of an author; no-one else can write exactly the way you do.
          This means that once readers truly like your work, they’ll buy and read everything you write because they simply they cannot get it anywhere else. Followers / fans / you-holics. Call them what you like, Dan Brown has millions of them!
          ~Jonathan

  • Jim says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:00am

    Jonathan…I write for the challenge…for the shear desire to master such a difficult task. I’ve always had stories and experiences that I wanted to share with others. The “trick” of course is being able to do so in a way that is relatable and enjoyable for the reader! Books can connect people and impact them in profound ways. Anguish, joy, elation….When it’s done correctly, the written word can share that ‘A-HAH!’ moment in a way that rarely happens in any other medium. Thanks for asking and for sharing my friend. Take care.
    Jim

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:19am

      Jim.
      You do it ‘for the challenge’?
      Given what a massive challenge it is, isn’t it truly remarkable how so many stick to the task – which is why so many books are produced. Can do, can do.
      I particularly like your yen to write being derived from the pleasure of taking readers on an emotional roller coaster ride of anguish, joy, elation. Great path that. Get the emotional core of the story right, and you’re half done.
      ~ Jonathan

  • TJ Marshall says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:14am

    I write because I have these stories in my head, filled with some pretty interesting characters, that I want to share with my friends and family. It’s not about fame or money – although I will joke with people about my stories becoming the next bestseller and going to film – it’s about these people I care about being able to share in something I enjoy. If the only people who ever read my books are those that I give freebies to, (those that I write these stories for), then I will consider myself a success. Happy Writing!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:24am

      T J M.
      Quoting you: “… it’s about these people I care about being able to share in something I enjoy…” Great rationale. Closely related to the reason J Edward Paul writes. Best read his piece. It will strike a familiar chord with you I feel. http://jedwardpaul.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/writing-my-legacy/
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:27am

    I write to make sense of life and stay connected with my tribe.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:31am

      Sharon
      An anchoring force for you then. Fortunate you are. Re ‘Tribe’, did you read author J Edward Paul’s piece? (link at bottom of post.) He holds a similar viewpoint.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Kev says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:30am

    For me, writing is the window into the soul. I love to write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:40am

      Kev
      I’ve looked at your site – and see that you’re a prolific writer indeed. Re ‘Window into the soul’ being your rationale for writing. Can’t top that!
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:36am

    Ode to Writing:
    There are so many reasons I need you – let me count the ways:
    - Because I feel as if I’m missing a huge chunk out of my life if I don’t write
    - It’s how I make sense of the world, and often I don’t realize I think a certain way until I’m writing it
    - People enjoy my writing and that makes me feel good
    - It’s cathartic – as my journal can attest
    - Living in my imagination is so much more fun than reality
    (that’s five to start with).

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:43am

      Robin
      Regarding one of your reasons for writing “…Living in my imagination is so much more fun than reality..” In one of the earlier comment replies, I put up a quote that I live by daily. In light of what you say, it’ll make perfect sense to you:
      “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:03pm

    For me, being a writer is a mental illness.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:40pm

      A great wellness in fact.
      ~Jonathan

  • Kyra Dune says:
    October 9, 2013 at 12:07pm

    I write because, for me, to stop writing would be like to stop breathing. Impossible.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:43pm

      Kyra
      Indicates your writing is a ‘natural’. It’s your vocation / calling.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:08pm

    William Frederick got into this writing malarkey because ill health forced him to find some new way of making a few quid. Finding himself with champagne tastes and a water income, the world no longer dovetailed with the lifestyle to which he aspired. A new way forward had to be sought out, preferably one that avoided such things as getting out of bed in the morning, before a day spent in toil. So, one day not so very long ago, in a land not so very far away, William picked up a pen. He quickly realised that using a pen was, quite unexpectedly, far too much like hard work, so he put it down again PDQ. A realisation arrived, as these things do, causing William to take another look at the laptop he was using to hack into the computer systems of MI5, MI6, the CIA and more courageously, the Brownies. This might be a better writing tool than his trusty Biro.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:46pm

      William
      Story appreciated. Your ‘Gent in Amsterdam’ website hilarious!
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:09pm

    Ever since I learned to write I have felt more comfortable expressing myself with words. My characters have been my invisible companions all my life. When real life gets tedious, they nag at me to give them more attention. I don’t think I will ever stop creating new worlds or playing with ideas.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:49pm

      Rose
      You are describing the writer’s ‘great escape’. Only creatives can do this, especially writers. It’s a talent and an absolute gift. Fortunate you are… but do hammer down on the actual writing, not merely revel in your magical ability. Time goes by…
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:35pm

    I write, because it keeps me sane. It takes me away from daily worries. I also have to write when I feel strongly about a certain subject. I never know what will pop up when I sit down in front of my computer. So for me it is also a new adventure. And it is ever so nice when readers comment on how much they love your writing. Also the saying comes to mind, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” I’ll never get rich writing, but not everything can be measured with money.
    Thanks for all you do, Jon
    Best
    Heide

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:52pm

    I write because I cannot bear not to write. I see Life through words and images and writing gives me a causeway to both express and analyze people, places, events and things that matter to me. I writer is not what I do but it is what I am.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 8:55pm

      Justin
      Every time I see this phrase from a writer: ” It’s not what I do but is what I am….” I know the’re on the right track. No question, it’s vocational. Hard edged cynics would claim otherwise, (“anyone can bash out a book for money.) Not so. You’re onto it.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:52pm

    A slightly longer version Jonathan. Up to you.

    William Frederick got into this writing malarkey because ill health forced him to find some new way of making a few quid. Finding himself with champagne tastes and a water income, the world no longer dovetailed with the lifestyle to which he aspired. A new way forward had to be sought out, preferably one that avoided such things as getting out of bed in the morning, before a day spent in toil. So, one day not so very long ago, in a land not so very far away, William picked up a pen. He quickly realised that using a pen was, quite unexpectedly, far too much like hard work, so he put it down again PDQ. A realisation arrived, as these things do, causing William to take another look at the laptop he was using to hack into the computer systems of MI5, MI6, the CIA and more courageously, the Brownies. This might be a better writing tool than his trusty Biro.

    Whilst marshalling his thoughts over what to write about, idly gazing out of the window, William hailed a passing troop of monkeys, each carrying a typewriter, for some help but was told, “Nah, sorry mate. We only do work for William Shakespeare.” This was indeed a blow, but our heroic author refused to be daunted and continued with his task.

    Asking himself over and over, “What should I write about?” he remembered that the teachers back at school were always advising their pupils to write about what they knew. As advice goes, thought William, this sounds like a complete dud. Why would I wish to reveal that I know nothing and then write about it? “So, what do I know about?” he asked himself. After a few pints of Nun’s Delight*, a big idea eventually trotted up and tweaked his nose. “I know!” he said. “I’ll write about MI5, MI6, Amsterdam, Weed and good old Rumpy-Pumpy! Actually, that’s pretty much all I know about, but to give me an edge, I can make it amusing.”

    When digging for material, through the MI5 and MI6 computer systems, William received a curt email from Mr Bertram Mainwaring, a Ministry Intelligence Analyst. Mr Mainwaring was not at all amused when he found that William was digging around in his country’s Official Secrets and insisted that he stop, forthwith. ”After all, we can’t have every Tom, Dick and William finding out what a bunch of incompetent idiots the Secret Services are, now can we?”

    William was left with no option but to hold his hands up and offer Bertram Mainwaring a bribe, which was accepted immediately. So, after the pay-off, Twenty Pounds… of prime Cumberland Sausage, had been handed over, William told Bertram of his idea and our two would-be heroes started to collaborate. Soon afterwards they recruited Bertram’s recently revived ex-girlfriend and now bride-to-be, Gertrude Wusser.

    One sunny afternoon, somewhere in the middle of chapter two, Bertram announced, “You know what old boy? Regarding your ‘ideas for the book’ strategy. I’ve always found that the best way to tackle such things is, to take it head-on, with no sort of idea or strategy at all. Why don’t we adopt that as the stratagem for the book?”

    The result of their directionless roaming, is Bertram & Gertrude’s Steamy Amsterdam Weekend!
    As time passes, this will be called Book1 in the Bertram & Gertrude series of books.

    * A beer from the Shepherd Neame brewery properly entitled ‘Bishops Finger’.

  • z3n ORear says:
    October 9, 2013 at 12:54pm

    I love to write because I worked for God.”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;but of power,and of love,and of a sound mind”[2Tim. 1:7] I love my job and This is going to be the greatest day of my life. I began to see that if I did not believe in myself I could not expect anyone else to believe in me.[Thanx4asking]

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:03pm

      ” I began to see that if I did not believe in myself I could not expect anyone else to believe in me…” Agree entirely. Self-doubt can creep in, which is also the source of ‘writer’s block’.
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-beat-writers-block-forever/
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:59pm

    I wrote my first story in the 4th grade because it was fun and the girls all liked it.

    I wrote over 40 trashy paperbacks when I lived in Hollywood in the 70′s because I didn’t want to work while going to film school. It was fun but it was strictly for the money. And then I wrote a low-budget crappy movie that got made and all the girls wanted me to write scenes for their acting classes…pretty great.

    I stopped writing for 27 years because I was too busy running a national consulting business.

    I write crime thrillers now because I love it and I have far too many story ideas — I couldn’t sleep if I let them all fly away without writing the damn things down.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:11pm

      Parker
      40 trashy paperbacks? That back list is almost a licence to print money today on Kindle if they have a modicum of good story and consistency.
      Mind you, you may think they are better dead and buried, although they can always be published under a pseudonym. Depends… you’re writing at a different level now
      Also, I’m genuinely amazed, even envious to see that your thriller movie “Darkroom” was directed by Jessica Rains. Casablanca instantly leaps to mind. “Louis… I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
      Honored to have your comment here Parker / Robert.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:06pm

    I write because it offers me a freedom of expression that totally allows me to be myself with the ability to reach a world wide audience. I cannot live without it and I LOVE doing it. There is such a freedom in writing that I believe only those who are truly passionate about writing understand. It is an unbelievable gift because it is versatile in that it allows the writer freedom, peace and passion to be expressed and the readers get to go along on the journey and enjoy.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:13pm

      Val.
      And the Amazon Kindle makes it possible to reach that audience. These are the days.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Teresa says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:11pm

    No better way to express myself than to sit down in front of a blank computer screen and relieve stress. I have written short stories and poetry since I was thirteen years old and I have loved it ever since.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:15pm

      Teresa…
      ‘Express yourself’ is key. Means you have ‘something to say’ which takes your work to a much higher level as a writer.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Phil says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:12pm

    I am only really happy when wrestling with the writing problems I’ve managed to make for myself. I love the shaping of an idea and the process of making something bad into something better…perhaps even something good. I love the process. I’m in it for the fight!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:17pm

      Phil
      ‘Shaping the idea’ is also the part that appeals to me too. ‘Story wrangling’ if you like. Beyond that I find getting it all down on paper as a finally edited work of fiction is a task that needs true grit.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:23pm

    I get these ideas, every day they come in, great ideas about people, places, things, sometimes sparked by a news item; something I read, and out of the blue. Usually with a vibrant cover as well! [a rising passion]
    Like Parket T. Mattson, these ideas keep me awake at night as I develop the plot surrounding their charm. I must write them down and share them with the one I love – the world. I find that the world is a cruel place, but out of the milieu come hungry folk who devour my words and are fed. That makes me happy. z3n ORear, like you, my editor, mentor and idea-maker is God, who gives every good gift from above. Thanks Jonathan. You are a wonderful mentor too.

  • Dottie Simms says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:31pm

    I write because it helps me forget the world as it is today. I can live wherever I choose, even though it is temporary. Mostly, I just love to write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:23pm

      Dottie
      Quote for you:
      “I realized that after 10 years of writing, I’d finally written something beautiful. I turned a corner into my interior self. I wasn’t writing exterior stuff. I wasn’t writing for the right or the left or the in between. I was writing for me.” – Ray Bradbury
      ~Jonathan

  • gary c atkins says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:53pm

    I love writing and had a ambition to write books from a very early age. Due to illness i
    cannot do a lot of research so everything comes from my head. Writing also got me through my illness.

  • April Lewis says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:57pm

    I write not only because I love to write but because it’s part of me and it’s who I am. Peter Pan is complete with his shadow but, if you take away his shadow he’s only half a boy. So on that note if you take away my writing I’m only half a woman. Writing completes me.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:29pm

      April
      “Peter Pan is complete with his shadow”. An appealing allegory.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:57pm

    I write because what I write no one would know about otherwise including myself!
    I am often surprised at what I write and how it comes together.
    Mary C Garner

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:47pm

      Mary
      It’s always a surprise.
      Discovery through creation – a key reason for writing as far as I’m concerned.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Derryl Flynn says:
    October 9, 2013 at 2:35pm

    My mum wrote. I guess it’s in the blood.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:49pm

      Derryl
      True no doubt. Me too – father in my case. He never published – just screeds of poetry. My mother could draw. Inherited from both. (I’ve written and illustrated a dozen children’s books here in NZ.)
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:46pm

    I write what I feel inspired to write – to help others know of the unfathomable love of God; and that there is nothing – absolutely nothing – in or of this world that is worth hanging onto if it draws one away from God.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:51pm

      James
      Inspiration is all, and can be called up, as you’ll have discovered, by sitting down and … writing. Inspiration then usually grows curious and invades the room.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:57pm

    In my opinion, a reader will leave a good story in an improved condition. He may have learned something new about the world or himself, or simply been well entertained. That’s why I write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:55pm

      Jack
      Therapeutic is one way to describe this. Having actually produced something is gratifying, and the work process when in flow is also a part of ‘therapy’ – even if it’s painful on the way. No-one will ever truthfully claim that writing is easy.
      e.g. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightening bug.” Mark Twain
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:58pm

    An intriguing question, all the more because the answer can be so elusive and hard to pin (pen?) down. Thanks for the include! J Edward Paul’s blog connected with me on a somewhat oblique angle, because producing a novel could be compared with producing a child. Sometimes you plan for your novel child, and sometimes that story surprises you with its arrival; there is much labor involved; you choose the perfect name for your child (and your name follows that title); you groom and dress your baby carefully (you have your work edited); and you send your child out into the world, (you publish your work), praying that people will accept your baby and treat him or her with consideration and respect, and hoping fervently that some will even love your child (almost) as much as you do.

    Thanks for sharing another post that is both inspiring and thought-provoking!

    ~ ACTownsend

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:01am

      Angela
      Re. Your ‘baby’ i.e. laboring over a book and then enjoying (and suffering) the response of the world: Great allegory.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:00pm

    What a wonderful collection of reasons for writing! After forty years working as a psychiatrist, I now write to share God’s love. Hopefully my stories will connect with the people who so desperately need it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:05am

      Kathleen
      ‘Giving out’ as you describe is something I’ve only truly come to relatively recently. I’ve discovered after squandering endless years of doing otherwise that one must trust the process, and it isn’t easy. The undeniable truth is that what goes around comes around.

      “Words are the soul’s ambassadors, who go abroad upon her errands to and fro.” James Howell, writer (c. 1594-1666)

      ~ Jonathan

  • Carla says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:05pm

    I’ve come to the point that I can affirm for sure that I write for my characters. They need me to become alive.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:18am

      Carla
      Love this. The characters have taken over. Familiar insight, because I’m working with character development at the moment. They are starting to argue the point with me.
      ~Jonathan

  • Jodie says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:24pm

    I write for many reasons among them: to clarify my thoughts, for the joy of exploring ideas, to make up characters who have never existed before, and to play with words.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:21am

      Jodie
      ‘Exploring ideas’ – has a ring of the safari. Ergo: “The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat’s mat is a story.” John LeCarre
      ~ Jonathan

      • Jodie says:
        October 10, 2013 at 4:47pm

        I think a safari works as a metaphor for writing. When I start a new project, I stay open to unexpected suprises, making changes to my original idea if they will make my writing better.

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:38pm

    I came to writing mysteries after I retired. It was as if a switch flipped in my brain and all those ideas I didn’r even know I had came rushing out. I worry I’ll kick before I get them all on paper! I’m racing time.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:27am

      Lesley
      You’ve begun. That’s about 90% of it. You’ve already won. (Imagine if you’d only realized this when you were 97 and in a rocking chair?
      Happens to many, many authors later in life. Fact is it probably wasn’t possible to do it any earlier in ANY sense. e.g. The muse probably wasn’t ‘in the house’ back then either.
      “Work at your craft, write daily, and follow your dreams because then, dreams do come true.” Christopher Paul Curtis
      ~ Jonathan

  • R.E. Harter says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:38pm

    I write because I want to be heard, understood, an appreciated. Some times, I think it is the last outpost of validation for my creative life before oblivion. I always anticipated having a broader audience; the specter of being a journeyman ball player mired in the minor leagues never seemed remotely possible. Suddenly the remote is no longer remote. A last chance to be heard… and vindicated.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:30am

      R E H.
      “Validation for my creative life before oblivion… Vindication…” Yes, and yes absolutely.
      Many never wake up to this until they’re near the end of the track.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:49pm

    I write because otherwise, I’d only get one life. Living each story as I write it allows me to lead a different life, in a different time or place or universe. Nothing beats that!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:33am

      Theo
      ‘Many lives…’ An appealing thought that has infinite creative depth on closer examination.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:52pm

    Jonathan,

    Great question. Art is a product of the individual and it seems 100′s of different perspectives give various answers.

    To explore the why of art is to explore the very existence of our species and our higher realms.

    I am on a personal mission to help evolve consciousness.

    I can think of no better way to do that than through art. The poetic, the movement of emotion through language is our best hope to growth. That an evolution of one’s soul can occur by taking in this artful act of reading gives me hope and well-being.

    Every type of work tells a story and those stories remind us why we are human and how we all connect in the world.

    So, to be able to contribute to the list of writing available for this purpose is what comes from my deepest thoughts inside my mind. I am blessed to have some talent, great teachers to guide me along the way and now various technical vehicles to push this work out farther and with less effort than ever before.

    I write to evolve consciousness which I hope will evolve the world.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 3:24am

      “Stories that remind us of our humanity”. A first class mission.
      ~ Jonathan

  • F. Anthony Capparella says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:53pm

    A passion…the thrill to SHOW…not tell…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:34am

      F. Anthony
      Agree. Welcome to the carousel!
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:54pm

    Hi Jon, and thank you for this outlet,
    This quote (somebody else’s) stays with me, but so true: “I write because I must.” Once my characters are on stage they take over and do what they want. My fingers on the keyboard just try to keep up, and when a favorite character gets killed, or even just hurt–especially emotionally-hurt–my eyes fill with tears–every time!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:39am

      James
      Re your characters.
      The power that & imagination / illusion has over all of us, particularly invented ‘character’, is endlessly mysterious.
      “The best books come from someplace deep inside…. Become emotionally involved. If you don’t care about your characters, your readers won’t either.” Judy Blume
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:02pm

    Hi Jon, thanks for the invite. I started many years ago writing for children. My intent was to leave Grandma’s stories for the grandchildren to always remember her by. In the last couple of years I continue to write for them and for the challenge to see what I can create.

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:09pm

    This Q was waiting to be asked, indeed.
    I always wrote: on napkins, toilet paper, the back of business cards, note books, in bed, on air planes, cars….
    To clarify my thoughts, pin down memories, work out emotions.
    Writing ‘it out of my system’ greatly helped me to overcome heartaches, pain, sorrows.
    NOW I finally even put it all together in a book and feel good.
    (History and story of a certain family ;)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:42pm

      Johanna
      Cathartic for you indeed. And as you describe, the medium (paper / laptop etc) is entirely irrelevant. Just get that book out there.
      “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:15pm

    I write because I love it and the feeling of joy and being free to soar that comes with writing. Writing is so much a part of my being and I feel blessed to have found something I love to enrich my life until my last days.

    I love to share the many stories that come into my head and put them down before I forget them. If I don’t, I feel as if I have lost a friend.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:40pm

      Janice
      Agree re getting story ideas noted down. I have, from time to time, come across bits of paper I’d noted an idea on – long since forgotten. Last year came across a 3 page Sci Fi story beginning I had written when 14 years old. It was surprisingly good. “Hominid 12 is alive and well and living on Aristarchus.”
      (‘Aristrachus’ is the brightest feature of the moon.)
      ~ Jonathan

  • Janes says:
    October 9, 2013 at 4:19pm

    Thoughts are fleeting, words are lasting.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:35pm

      Janes
      Insightful that. Essentially, in a more practical parlance, WRITE IT, don’t just talk about it.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:50pm

    I write with a “Wouldn’t if be nice?” desire. Hence, I write romance. It’s a tough genre.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:35pm

      Terri
      I have an admiration for the gutsy writers of the big ‘R’. It certainly is the toughest genre, and not just because of the competition. Each story has to fully resolve (happy endings) so there’s no real chance of a central character ‘series’. Each is really a one off.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:01pm

    Actually, it’s my characters who write my novels. I have placed them in their scenes and THEY write the stories……to stop writing is to—unfairly—leave them sitting there, abandoned! swk www,WhereTheyBuryYou.com

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:43am

      Steven
      It’s the only way. Have you tried making them do something out of character? They fold their arms and refuse to strut and fret.
      “One of the hardest things to do as a writer (I think) is to make your main character, the one you love so much, suffer. In my opinion, for this reason, more than any other, writing is really, really difficult.” ~ Ann Gonzalez
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:07pm

    Good question indeed! And many good answers.

    We also write to address a need and/or share a benefit; this describes my accidental experience with writing my first book. I just came up with an effective educational approach that worked like magic on my child who was struggling with writing, and I just had this urge and drive to share it with others.. So I wrote my book.

    Writing is addictive! Not sure if would write my next book for the same reason.

    Thank you for your email; I enjoyed answering your question.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:45am

      Samar
      ‘Addictive’ sums it up adroitly.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:22pm

    Interesting to read everyone’s thoughts, Jonathan. Thanks.

    I began as an unintentional writer. I simply wanted to write some funny little tales that included life lessons for my family. But my overly creative brain took over, the characters started writing their own stories, and my head was filled with endless ideas. Now I write because I owe it to myself more than anyone to release the stories that reside there. What good are they if they stay locked in my head? And I write because I love to get lost in the world I’ve created. I’ve documented my creative journey in my blog. Anyone interested can find it at frombarbaram.blogspot.com . Go to the Blog Archive on the right side and start reading from the bottom up.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:33pm

      Barbara
      Starting to write unintentionally is in fact the right place – it’s being done for writing’s sake. Selling however brings a different form of validation, and includes that highly useful component – payment.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:39pm

    My first novel, “The Devlin Deception,” basically DEMANDED that I write it, as I was totally fed up with party politics in the USA from maybe 2007 till 2011, so it started as a story about a billionaire who bought the federal government and set about trying to fix it all. Then it evolved into a story surrounding that one, about the difficulties a black helicopter and the people on it brought into the life of the author of that story. (That part was much more fun to write; more sex, humor and absurdity than the inner story.)

    Now I’m stuck with writing the sequel to answer, both for myself and for my readers, the questions left unanswered in that first novel. And that’s led to outlines for the third and fourth books in the series.

    Luckily for me, I’m old, retired and not in need of money from book sales, which nonetheless have been pretty good. It’s fun (and challenging) to spend time on the beach plotting and scheming and then get home and keyboard it all out.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:40pm

    I was voiceless as a child and young adult.
    The pen had a name and I an extraordinary life. Writing it down is but the exclamation mark.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:47am

      Jeanie
      The movement of one’s creative ‘tectonic plates’ begins early on. Once in motion not much can stand in the way… save laziness. “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:48pm

    Like soooo many others have already said, I write because I’m compelled to. Because I have a story that needs to come out and I want to feel that release. It’s my passion and my calling, and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:33pm

      Renee
      I see you are fortunate to be related to Jesse Stuart. (Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky.) I feel that this ‘writing virus’ does ‘run in the blood’ to a certain extent. A family of writers is also tremendously supportive, although inter-sibling rivalry has its unique pressures.
      See this terrific cartoon about a writing family. (From my Facebook page.)
      https://www.facebook.com/BestSellerLabs/posts/472021656212200
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:28pm

    Writing is my best source of liberation. It gives me the time and the tools to precisely delve into the mire of my emotions and unearth the seed of truth at their core. I meet God more often on the page, than I do under the rafters of a church.

    While I enjoy writing in general, I find fiction writing more difficult and more rewarding for me than any other creative craft. Consequently, I love it more than any other work I have ever done. Where else can I build a world all my own, populate it with characters of my choice, and then be continually surprised by what happens next?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:26pm

      Alycia
      “… I meet God more often on the page, than I do under the rafters of a church.” A remarkable insight I shall continue to remember. A truth I will probably quote frequently.
      ~ Jonatha

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:34pm

    An old man stabbed the President of a country.
    “Why?” they asked him.
    “There is a worm inside me who tells me what to do,” her replied.

    The old man is not mad, he is a writer.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:21pm

      Rodney
      Not mad in the slightest, although the majority will never understand. Hence Don McLean’s song ‘Starry,Starry Night’ about Vincent Van Gogh. “How you suffered for your sanity..”
      We press on regardless!
      http://youtu.be/oxHnRfhDmrk
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:46pm

    I write because when I look back on my life (I’m 71) I realize that the times I was the happiest and most content were the times I was busy writing. It rewards me in a way that nothing else does; I will continue to write until I no longer can.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:16pm

      Karen
      Writing is ‘you’ yes?
      “If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.” Louis L’Amour
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:48pm

    Because I love words, the way they play together and everything they invoke. Because I’m drawn to story, irresistably. And the two together? Ignition!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 3:29am

      Love your shining optimism. ‘Ignition’ and all.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:03pm

    Without stories life feels cold and empty.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:12pm

      Tammy
      Life that is too ‘practical’ and ‘real’ is certainly deadly. We are MADE for story. The education system would do well to take this on board when seeking new ways to impart wisdom and information to the young. The old way i.e. STORY is innate. No need to update – the principles are timeless.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:25pm

    I was always the girl at school who wrote 10 more pages on her essays than required ! I just couldn’t help it …
    Why do I write ?
    It’s the magical part of me so … I just do !

    • October 9, 2013 at 7:41pm

      I write in order to record my thoughts in a format that allows me to edit until I get it right.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 9, 2013 at 9:37pm

        Tom
        There’s more to your comment than is immediately apparent – i.e. getting your thoughts in order by writing. Very interesting viewpoint.
        Quote: “Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.” Richard North Patterson
        ~ Jonathan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:38pm

      Debbie
      The magical part of you – that sits in the center. We’re in accord on that one.
      ~Jonathan

  • Tai Sto Dan says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:37pm

    I do it because it’s all I have to escape “the now.” Even if I do not sit down and write something on my computer, I am vigorously jotting down notes to piece together later on when I can reach a Word doc.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:09pm

      Tai.
      ‘Escaping the now.’ Absolutely.
      I have put a quote in another comment or two that supports your viewpoint, but will quote it yet again. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:40pm

    Why do I write?

    For me, writing is a way of finding what lies hidden inside. I find it delightful!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:07pm

      Theresa
      This is constant theme that runs through many of the comments – ‘self discovery’. Strikes a chord with many writers, because all writing has that element , and most writing is to a certain extent autobiographical yes?
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:42pm

    I write in order to record my thoughts in a format that allows me to edit until I get it right.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:05pm

      Tom
      There’s more to your comment than is immediately apparent – i.e. getting your thoughts in order by writing. Very interesting viewpoint.
      Quote: “Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.” Richard North Patterson
      ~ Jonathan

      • October 10, 2013 at 1:27am

        Jonathon,
        I really appreciate your comments. I agree that rewriting is the salvation of a good book. I always look forward to your newsletters and emails.

        Tom D.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 10, 2013 at 3:30am

          Tom
          Likewise re your comments. I scout for them.
          ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:45pm

    Everyone must contribute into the vast commonwealth of human culture. My way is through writing.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:04pm

      “The vast commonwealth of human culture…” with you lock step on that point Ilil.
      ~Jonathan

  • Cecly Ann says:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:49pm

    I write because no one tells the stories I want to read. Caribbean themed historical fiction is both educational and therapeutic for me. I enjoy discovering events and facts about my country and space that are hidden or unknown. I write to start the conversation by releasing the information.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 11:02pm

      Cecly
      Re ‘Historical Caribbean fiction’. You’re making an invaluable contribution to Trinidad culture – and everywhere else for that matter. Looked over your site. The short stories based in the civil service will be a great time capsule of images and impressions of a time that may eventually disappear.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:02pm

    Writing poetry is about inspiration and therapy for me.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 3:05am

      Bonnie
      One tough thing about writing poetry is that it requires condensing an idea to the minimum, within strict rhythms. But on the upside, it also happens quite quickly compares with a whole novel. Results arrive earlier! Gratifying. Here’s my favorite work. (Familiar no doubt. Hope it still inspires.)

      The winter evening settles down
      With smell of steaks in passageways.
      Six o’clock.
      The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
      And now a gusty shower wraps
      The grimy scraps
      Of withered leaves about your feet
      And newspapers from vacant lots;
      The showers beat
      On broken blinds and chimneypots,
      And at the corner of the street
      A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
      And then the lighting of the lamps.

      T.S.Eliot

  • Sue Padmore says:
    October 9, 2013 at 9:12pm

    I HAVE to! I believe it is one of the things I was put on this earth to do. Besides, the words never stop floating in my head!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:50pm

      Sue
      I hope you’re taking full advantage of all those floating ideas by getting them down on paper. No slacking. That’s the harsh reality of a writers’ magic.
      ~ Jonathan

      • Sue says:
        October 11, 2013 at 12:04am

        Jonathan, Yes I do. Every time a thought/idea pops up. I have quite a stockpile of notes! Makes me happy just to think about what I might do next.

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:24pm

    This is a loaded question. I write because I feel free when I do. It is a passion I have to have people read what I write and be affected and remember the story. I write because I love to be creative and dream and writing fiction is like that. I don’t do it for the money, that is a secondary gain, seeing that book in hand is a great accomplishment for me!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 9:36pm

      Abbey
      ‘A loaded question?’ Oh yes.
      Quoting you… “It is a passion I have to have people read what I write and be affected and remember the story..”
      If you achieve that then you’ve won.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:49pm

    I am a communicator by profession and by occupation. The drive of my writing is to inspire my readers to aim at victorious living.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:48pm

      James
      “Victorious living.” Great. Another glittering way to describe a writer in action.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:06pm

    Because I want to leave a legacy and make a difference in the lives of parents, especially moms! My passion is motherhood and the honor, privilege and gift it is to partner with God in the most amazing career you could ever choose…raising a little one with leadership and love!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:46pm

      Ann
      “Because I want to leave a legacy…” You should read J Edward Paul’s article. Mirrors your view exactly. (Link to it is at the foot of the article.)
      ~ Jonathan

  • April Talley says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:06pm

    I write because it is like reliving my childhood. I’m playing dolls again! I can create worlds, situations, conversations and this time, instead of using Barbie dolls, I am using people I have created from my imagination (or borrowed from real life).

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:41pm

      April
      Re ‘play’… this is crucial to writing in my view. See the John Cleese video on creativity – amazing, gets right to the heart of the matter. (Once he gets his ego out of the way.)
      http://youtu.be/ijtQP9nwrQA
      Jonathan

  • Vina Grey says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:07pm

    A couple of folks already said it best: because if I don’t I’ll explode; and not writing leaves a hole/something’s missing in my life

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 9, 2013 at 10:44pm

      Vina
      Re ‘something missing’. That shows where great writing really comes from. The real source is deep within – it’s not intellectual. Hence the expression ‘summon the muse’. (There’s also a thing called hard work involved.) :)
      ~Jonathan

  • Atabo says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:15pm

    Written words are deeper than just spoken words. They express life better than the ‘sayings’. They educate and inform more and deeper. That’s why I read them. That’s why I write them.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:07am

      Atabo
      It requires a great deal more of ‘you’ to write something down. Therein lies the magic to which you refer.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:32pm

    I write because I have to. Because I love it. It is liberating and exhilarating and lets me pour out all the “stories” that have built up in me over many years. For a long time, I didn’t have the luxury. Thanks to a wonderful husband and some pretty great clients who let me work from home and schedule my own time, I do have that luxury now. And, if I could pick anything else to do, I wouldn’t! This is it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:09am

      Carol
      Found your place at last. Ramp up then and make up for lost time, although I suspect that all past experiences and frustrations will provide all the high grade grist for the mill you’ll ever need.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:58pm

    I write because it’s so much fun and it makes me very happy.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:14am

      Eva
      Clearly true, judging by the upbeat, unwavering tenor of your ideas – ‘Greek Mythology for Young Adults.’
      “A writer’s voice is not character alone, it is not style alone; it is far more. A writer’s voice like the stroke of an artist’s brush–is the thumbprint of her whole person–her idea, wit, humor, passions, rhythms.” Patricia Lee Gauch

      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 12:15am

    Love the answers. The common theme seems to be being compelled to tell stories by whatever creative force drives us. Sure, everyone wants a bestseller, but I think those who love writing will do so no matter what. It’s an almost primal urge, something the beats like a heartbeat from deep within. We write because that’s who we are.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:50am

      Hi Bard
      You’ve captured it ideally: “We write because that’s who we are.”
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 12:38am

    Never seen so many comments, wow….I write because I have a story to tell, and want to get the message out.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 12:54am

      Melissa
      Sounds as if you’re reaching deep…yes? A quote for you:
      “I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” – Ernest Hemingway
      Thanks for your comment Melisa, and all power to you in getting your message out there.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 12:50am

    Because I’m obsessed with it! Can’t get enough.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:13am

      Charmaine
      Your energy is almost palpable! (A little enthusiasm goes a long way.)
      ~Jonathan

  • Edward says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:12am

    Because I’m a writer.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:15am

      Edward
      Clear unequivocal commitment; You’ve already won.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Eichin Chang-Lim says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:19am

    A couple of reasons for my writing: I want to leave a legacy-to share my idea and value about life with my children and generations to come. Most importantly, I want to write the stories about Love, Hope and Everyday heroes. (It may sound BS, but it’s true!)”

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:24am

    You know that warm, sticky substance you find on the south side of a horse going north? That gets a little deep sometimes in a room full of writers. Way too many of them, of US, want to own our talent. “I can write,” we say, our chests puffed out like a robin’s on a cold spring morning. And we need to get over ourselves. Writers may create worlds and all the people and creatures in them but none of us can create talent. It’s gift from God.
    Why do I write? (You thought I’d never get there, didn’t you!) I write because I must. I write because God gave me a gift. Oh, a small one to be sure. It fit in a ring box. With the ring in it. But big or small, I’m expected to use it. And when I write, when I’m caught up in that place—you’ve been there, the place where you hear a tuning-fork hum of magic in your head—I know that I’m doing what I was created by God to do.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:10am

      Ninie
      Re your phrase ‘… the place where you hear a tuning-fork hum of magic in your head…’ – yes, true to my own experience. Thing is, there are those with the magic ring boxes to which you refer, but oh so many more without them. Fortunate we are as long as we actually use the gift.
      Quoting English entertainer musician, artist, song and dance man Tommy Steele:
      “I believe the imagination is the greatest gift. Please don’t let it slip through your fingers…”
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:28am

    I write to prove my father wrong! He told me I would never write a book or have a book published.

    Why did he say that?

    1. I was born left handed and at primary school during the WW2 I was quite brutally forced to be right handed this resulted in what was then labelled Word Blindness, and I was called Hitler’s child by the teacher. This in turn led to schooling problems too painful to repeat here, 11+ failure and the taking of OL English exams as many as five times in order to get into college.

    2. I was lucky I had a brilliant teacher who gave me extra help almost everyday, her name was Sister Mary and I owe her a great deal.

    3. It was 1960′s before I understood what was wrong following a test conducted on me, which enabled me to understand and go on to achieve a teacher’s certificate.

    4. Then later it was labelled dyslexia. My Father said I would never write a book.

    5. During my teaching career I was often humiliated by the English teacher drawing attention to my spelling mistakes. But the pupils always were kinder to me than the staff. I always told each new intake what was wrong and they would help me if a word on the blackboard was incorrect.

    6. After my husband went into a Nursing home in the 1980′s I began writing a school play.

    7. Then I tried an adult play that was typed up for me. It was not until 1990′s that I began to type plays on an Amstrad word processor myself. Often my original typist would correct it for me, she must have typed up at lease ten of my attempts to write for production.

    8. Then I began to research the History of my local theatre and a generous lady called Pam Brooks helped, especially with the editing, which she did at least once a week, chapter by chapter.

    9. My plays never made much money so it wasn’t money that kept me writing plays, I wanted to prove my father wrong.

    10. Then I became unwell and the drugs made me fantasise happily, until presented with a laptop and having a friend called Lauren, who started me off on a story about wanting to murder someone, the moment came when I took off and now have 6 stories about a detective living with his wife on the edge of a sheltered housing complex. All his cases have at least one of the old people giving him a headache.

    11. The Character of Maggie was formulated with the help of Ann Morrison who has had experiences similar but not identical to the written character.

    12. Maurice Teasdale is all my brothers rolled into one character.

    13. I did not self publish. VDU liked my first story and I took on the chin the comments from the Editor. As each book has come of my laptop, I believe I am at last able to say, yes i have a problem but I can cope with it.

    14. Now I like to encourage other to write and thanks to kindle books I can read more easily as I change the font to suit myself and I like a white background with black letters.

    15. Life is wonderful as are new glasses.

    16. Does it matter that I’m not the world’s most renowned writer, no it doesn’t.

    17. In a few weeks I will be 74 – seventy years on from having a wooden pencil box slapped down on my left hand and having that stinging hand tied behind my back as a punishment.

    18. I think I have won!

    Hope this is of use to you
    Pelham McMahon

    • October 10, 2013 at 1:59am

      Pelham – full marks for persistence & for continuing to have a go at 74 – five years away for me & I hope I can continue writing.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 10, 2013 at 7:11am

        Thomas
        More than a decade way for me… bet it screams by.
        ~ Jonathan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:27am

      Anne
      A rich tale indeed. Almost a post in its own right!
      You are not alone either, my wife had the same experience as a child – forced to write with her right hand when left-handed. She’s now a PHD and editor- overcame all the early nonsense.
      No doubt all the other writers here will enjoy hearing of your remarkable journey as much as I have.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:41am

    I write because the characters want their story told. I wrote in college many years ago and I had to quit college and get a “real job” that paid money. I didn’t feel confident enough to keep writing while I was working. I wanted to write, but I didn’t–for many years. Then I found myself with a computer and an early retirement. I decided it was time to get back into what I had wanted to do all my life–write full time. So I read up on everything I could to familiarize myself with this new world of digital publishing. That was when the story started forming. There was this character that just wouldn’t leave me alone. She spoke to me and told me about her life. Amazingly enough, she wasn’t the protagonist. At least not at first. Then I realized that she was, one of them at least. I have two protagonists from two different time periods. It is quite challenging for a first attempt at a novel, but the characters are there and they want to to tell their story, so I must. I love it!

    • October 10, 2013 at 1:56am

      Like you, Rebecca, I found earning a living and bringing up a family took all my energy and I abandoned my earlier attempts at writing until I was near retirement. I now have 6 Indie novels out there and a 7th in production.

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        October 10, 2013 at 7:16am

        Thomas
        Literary life in Wellington still treating you well?
        ~ Jonathan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:21am

      Rebecca
      Truth is that I’ve been along a similar path. While I did do some extensive writing and TV work over the duration it was on again, off again for similar reasons to yours. Now back ON again, permanently I’m glad to report.
      ~ Jonathan

  • margie lucas says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:45am

    I started using drugs at 14 yrs old and im now 32 and i have been clean for almost 4 months. I lost my baby girl at 3 months old. This is a struggle but im writing my book to tell my story of my trials and . Im overcoming them. I dnt care who criticizes me as long as i can get my story out there and hopefully just save one life. Then it will all be worth it.

    • October 10, 2013 at 1:52am

      Hi, Margie – Applaud your efforts to come to grips with your life and wish you well.

      • margie lucas says:
        October 10, 2013 at 2:00am

        Thank you. It means alot to me to get my story out there to help save others. Thank you Thomas for your reply.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 1:59am

      Margie.
      Speaking of people being critical, you’ll never get that from me. Your story is humbling, and makes any issues I have pale into insignificance. Here is a video about ‘overcoming’ by Mandisa if you are able to watch it. I watch it frequently – it’s sheer delight.
      “Overcomer” By Mandisa (Click) Note: If you don’t have the bandwidth to watch, never fear, it’s just a moment of help.
      Keep in touch – this is progress support central here :)
      My best always
      ~Jonathan

      • margie lucas says:
        October 11, 2013 at 10:14am

        I listened to that song Jonathan and I thank you very much for passing that on to me. It was simply amazing. I wrote some more in my book yesterday but I could only write a little because im at the point in my life story to where I’m telling About how drug use took everything away from me. I realized that I was of getting down on myself and thats not the person I choose to be. You see if I get down on myself and let that cause me to stop sharing then the drugs have one again. Today I refuse tobe a prisoner of any kind. Today I choose to be a warrior and I will do this and nothing will ever hold me back from living my life again.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 12, 2013 at 12:52am

          Good to hear from you Margie
          One great thing is to keep writing. It’s a sort of wave that gathers its own momentum. It takes over if you keep at it. Means the even while you sleep the mind keeps working on it.
          ~ Jonathan

  • Dawn Alexander says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:48am

    I write to be heard! There are times when people experience tragic heartbreak or explosive love. Instead of screaming my emotions to the world, I “scream” through my written words.The spoken word expires, but the written word lasts FOREVER!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:03am

      Dawn
      Re “The spoken word expires, but the written word lasts FOREVER!”
      Never a truer word written. My mother taught me to never write a unpleasant letter, because it will lasts forever, long after anger fades. This is where time heals – spoken bad words are gradually forgotten.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:49am

    Because life seems so colourless when I’m not writing (like right now when I’m waiting for a MS assessor to provide comments on my latest draft novel). The days also go so much faster when I’m working on a novel and I have a much greater sense of satisfaction with life. I also love to see characters open their lives to me (like a bud unfurling) and sometimes put their lives in my hands. That’s not to say that I can do what I want with them because they do come alive in unexpected ways of their own making, and sometimes develop the story in unexpected twists and turns. Then there’s the very satisfying challenge of producing the highest quality work that you can – not just the first time through but in revisions and many, many self-edits. And the greater challenge of weighing and accepting advice from professional assessors and editors and then making your work even better.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:36am

      Thomas
      Editors are Gods in my view. Or ‘God Sends’ at the very least.
      Do read the brief interview with my own editor Jane Johnson, although knowing your diligence you’ve probably already read it.
      INTERVIEW: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Editor Reveals Her Top 3 Writing Tips http://bestsellerlabs.com/game-of-thrones-editor-reveals-top-writing-tips/
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 2:49am

    I write because it was the only tool I had in my childhood to overcome my fears and worries in life and I owe it to myself to utilize it again in my adulthood and share it with the world. Too much imagination going on not to put it on paper.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 2:57am

      Kendra
      Childhood experience of writing always proves invaluable for efforts in later years; the mind continues to work away on such things for years, unseen, behind the scenes without us realizing. But sooner or later it bursts out in a fiery blaze of imagination that cannot be contained any longer – as you are experiencing.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Sarah E says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:00am

    I have a soul that I have kept hidden behind fumbling lips and a nervous voice for far too long. Speaking fails me. And so, I write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 3:11am

      Sarah
      I see that you are writing a series.

      “…the story of young Belinda Starr, who must learn sorcery and compete to become the next empress of a hidden, magical land. The first book (of seven) is titled “Belinda Starr and the Metallic Enchantment”, and will be completed soon…”

      Excellent. A ‘series’ is the best strategy ever for an author. See supporting post. I’m immovable/ unstoppable on this point. http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-hottest-tip-no-fiction-writer-can-afford-to-ignore/
      ~Jonathan

      • Sarah E says:
        October 10, 2013 at 3:05pm

        Thank you for your feedback! It means a lot to me. :

  • M C Raj says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:43am

    I simply enjoy writing. I well up with many insights and thoughts. If I do not write they will burst in millions of directions.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 3:59am

      MC R.
      So in your case the words will OUT one way or another. Your ‘why’ is that you may as well control the process.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 3:46am

    Writing is the journey of the mind. For me as a writer you feel like the hapless passenger being taken for a mental ride that just won’t stop. Amazing sights flash by, our horizons broaden and no matter what we cannot stop until this amazing journey has come to an end. Then we can marvel at our new destination, at the sights we have seen along the way until we are taken for another trip.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 4:07am

      Daniel
      A ‘magical mystery tour’ in many senses. It’s always a mystery – writing can never be otherwise. Who knows how the book will turn out? Will the main character unexpectedly pivot when you’re only part way through writing and refuse to go along the planned path? At such accursed and yet crucial moments is great writing made. A series of choices while maintaining creative flow. No-one ever said writing was easy street.

      “You only learn to be a better writer by writing. I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.” Doris Lessing

      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 3:55am

    I write because it puts the inspiration that comes out of the etherness of nothingness into a tangible and legible something.
    PS Your Twitter book is helping. 4 followers to 413 followers in only a few weeks. This has resulted in over 350 ReverbNation fans which has shot me from #87 to #2 in Australian Instrumentals chart.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 4:03am

      Neil
      Inspiration pays! Congratulations on your ReverbNation success.
      Re. Twitter: Remarkable progress there in a increasingly ubiquitous media in which we both love working.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 4:13am

    I’ve been creating in one way or another from the age of six. First with art: becoming a professional fine artist through my adult life: commissioned portraits, and varied subjects. I began writing seriously about twenty years ago. Had some poems published in anthologies and at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Wrote 12 children’s stories, but then became attracted to Mystery Crime Fiction, something I’ve always read and viewed. I am working on a three-book series, the first draft of the first book almost complete–next two books outlined. I write because instead of painting my daily life, there are lots of plots and lots of characters running around in my head. I’ve found my niche for this part of life. It’s a passion (creating) and something I have to do to maintain my good personality. I now live and breathe writing and researching and hope to write for many years to come.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 4:21am

      Gippy
      “Now we are six we’re as clever as clever…” Christopher Robin.
      My first writing attempt was at that age too. I still have the work thanks to my mother, she kept it. I found it in her belongings after she had died – some years ago.
      And like you I was a painter of sorts in earlier years, (oils / acrylics) so we are in alignment.
      Both of us have now switched, except that in my case I’m creating children’s content, which includes both word and image.
      Excellent to hear that you’re creating a trilogy. The sales of one will lead to the others. Assume you’re developing a platform of sorts? (Channels such as Twitter / blog etc). See http://bestsellerlabs.com/7-bestseller-strategies-for-writers/
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 4:21am

    There is simply something in my heart that I have to share.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 5:45am

      Alejandra
      You have something to say then? That is the place from which great writing emanates. Did you read much as a child? “Children’s books change lives. Stories pour into the hearts of children and help make them what they become.” Jane Yolen
      ~ Jonathan

  • Priyanka says:
    October 10, 2013 at 5:41am

    Hi Jonathan,

    There are so many reasons, picking one is difficult for me. My reasons are: I love writing; All the characters/stories chatting constantly, makes it difficult for me to concentrate on present work or something else; sometimes it’s better than shouting at someone and hurting them, when things can be resolved by talking calmly later; and sometimes it’s difficult to describe why i write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 7:00am

      Priyanka
      If thinking about your stories brings you peace in the surrounding madness that’s a pretty good motivation. But putting it all down on paper – actually writing- is what you really need to be transported and make progress.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 6:25am

    I write because people read.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 7:17am

      Cliff
      Any progress with Green Light Music and the book trailer? (Creating a Book Trailer Part 1.) I imagine they’ll charge a blind fortune for music by THE WHO.
      ~ Jonathan

      • October 10, 2013 at 2:54pm

        Yes, GreenLight wanted 50 million. Absurd, but my friend is a keen negotiator. She thinks she can get them down to 10 million, so not all is lost. I only have to presale 200 copies at 50 thousand each in order to use the song in my trailer…:-) I’ll continue the posts after I’m done building the platform.

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:19am

    “In the eyes of a child, the world around them is both a magical and enchanting place . . .
    … That’s the reason why I never want to grow up, plus it gives me the inspiration to write.”

    Daniel M Warloch

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 7:23am

      Daniel
      You have 3 books so far, are more planned to be published?
      “Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” - Ray Bradbury
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 8:57am

    Hi Jonathan,

    I began to write when, aged 19, I survived a near death accident. I had never written anything much before. In school I was in the science stream. I had never attended a single lecture on writing, had never met a writer and had never even considered writing before. Within a year of the accident, I was a med student and half way through my first, unpublished (thank goodness) novel. I stopped writing after the first book for twenty years, then returned to it. I have never stopped writing since. So it is a kind of compulsion. I write in both fiction and non-fiction, almost equal numbers of books. Fiction, non-fiction, makes no difference to me. I’m now a bestseller in both.

    All the best,

    Frank

    Frank P Ryan
    ryanfrankp@aol.com

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 10:36am

      Frank
      Congratulations on your ‘dark epic-fantasy’ bestseller standing. On looking over your site I see an astounding number of fiction titles. Are they all published on Amazon? And which are the non-fiction titles?
      ~Jonathan
      PS. You say your writing is a ‘compulsion’. Got it. No further explanation required.

  • October 10, 2013 at 9:42am

    Dear Jonathan, on sober reflection (always the best) the real answer to your question is;
    that I have something powerful to say with a burning passion to say it – nothing less could justify the energy expended getting heard. Margaret Montrose.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 10:09am

      Margaret
      Thank you for that moment of lucidity. The simple fact that you have something to say with ‘The Golden Path’ lifts the work onto another plateau entirely.
      ~ Jonathan
      PS. Do you have a large version of the book cover design? Is that on Amazon Kindle? One is the billboard, the other the main marketplace.

  • October 10, 2013 at 10:44am

    I write to educate, inspire and liberate enslaved minds.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 10:50am

      Thanks D.W.A.
      An authoritative author stance. It would be interesting to know the type of ‘mind enslavement’ you’re referring to.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Christina Pinckard says:
    October 10, 2013 at 11:04am

    I write because it is what I was meant to do. People have constantly told me I was incapable, but I still do it. I still tell stories, fantasy brings out that creativity and passion. I feel naked, lost and alone when I don’t write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 10, 2013 at 11:11am

      Christine
      Love that you keep going. Bring on the great magic I say. Truth is, those who criticize have no ability, and are usually mirroring their own inadequacies. Hardly anyone knows who they are, but you do. You are a WRITER. Think about it. That simple knowing sets you up for life, you have a powerful sense of identity that others never will.
      We are cut from the same cloth, so contact me at any time if needing support against the buffeting of the world’s ship of fools.
      ~ Jonathan

      • Christina Pinckard says:
        October 10, 2013 at 6:32pm

        Thank you Jonathan, some days, my grandmother tends to tell me I am incapable, but I continue on. It’s not about her, it’s about telling stories that no one else will. I finally have a book release date of November 2nd, new cover and also giving away some dragon scaled bookmarks I made from Polymer Clay and Acrylic Paint.

  • Virginia Czaja says:
    October 10, 2013 at 11:37am

    I write because I enjoy the creative process, the melding of words and thoughts. You start with an idea and run with it not knowing where the journey will take you.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:23am

      Virginia
      A writer’s ‘mystical journey’ has two sides. Graft… and creativity.
      All the best with that.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 12:29pm

    I write to liberate my soul. When I write I feel happy and an infinite amount of peace. Writing is necessary, it’s a matter of life and death for me.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:25am

      Andrea… “Liberté pour toujours!” – a wonderful rationale.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:37pm

    I write for my sanity, to take time out from stresses and now I have new reasons: I so enjoy people telling me how much they enjoy my books. Example: A 91 year old World War II veteran was so overcome with my book about sailing the South Pacific, his daughter had to tell me about how his mind had come awake reading my story. Wow! Who could ask for more?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:44am

      Dannie
      That’s better than an Oscar.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:56pm

    I’ve always wanted to work for myself, but was afraid of the financial risks. By self-publishing, I can fulfill my desire to escape into a world of my own and run a “business” sans the huge financial burden.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:45am

      Nick
      That would be my view too. It’s an AHA! wake up moment when you realize eh?!
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 2:39pm

    The reason for my writing has changed over the years. I’ve always loved reading and at first I thought, “I can do this!” Fame and fortune were sure to follow, but that mountain has proved impossible for me to climb.
    Then I wrote because I thought that it would prove to others that I was different (weird?) for a good reason – I was a gifted and talented writer. But to most people I’m still just weird and I’m at peace with that. (I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut so I don’t seem quite so off! )
    But in the end, despite some encouraging sales in the self-publishing market, I’ve decided that writing fills my soul and that is reason enough. It makes me whole. When, after working on my manuscript I look around and need to recollect where I am, I feel satisfied. I feel truly happy. (Feedback from my readers makes me happy, too!)
    Selling myself and my writing takes up a lot of time and drains my soul, so I’ve all but abandoned it. I’ll pitch when I have something to pitch, but I’ll spend my precious limited time on writing. Over the decades, the love of writing is the only thing that has remained.
    Thanks, Jonathan, for your excellent articles. – James

    P.S. – I write in 2 diffferent genres, thus the 2 names, emails, etc. No website for James Crawford, yet. Working on it. :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:42am

      James
      “… I’ve decided that writing fills my soul and that is reason enough. It makes me whole…”
      This is a rich rationale. Yes, the selling side is always difficult. But remember that the books begin to sell themselves after a while with a limited amount of push – as long as readers find them appealing. ‘Word of Mouth’ takes over – if you have enough titles.
      See ‘The Phoenix Effect ‘ http://bestsellerlabs.com/why-your-amazon-kindle-book-will-be-far-bigger-than-you-imagine/
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 2:46pm

    I write for several reasons. The most common answer would be because I love to but then I have to ask myself, why do I have this love? I believe it is because I see so many thrilling possibilities in the Universe as everything is possible. These possibilities bubble up inside me and take on a life of their own. Most importantly, I believe I was meant to share the messages I conceal in the pages with those who are searching.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:37am

      Stacy
      You’re reaching deep into the well of ‘you’. Means the writing will be authentic, making the books far more readable.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 3:08pm

    Hi Jonathan!
    I write to express my unique personality. What I do can be witnessed but what I think is known only to me, unless I choose to share it with others by writing thoughts down. What people write is the filtered and edited graphic representation of private, individual thoughts. In fact, I’m going through a writing crisis at the moment. My brain is refusing to co-operate. Now you know! Bel x

  • Lisa says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:33pm

    I write to bring healing to myself. I’ve found that reading my own work causes change in my behavior.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:10am

      Lisa
      Art heals because it’s an entire way of life drawing from the deepest, purest well.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 4:47pm

    I already made a comment way, way up this column. If I could find it, I’d copy it.

    “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feeling.” Susanne Langer, taught to me by Stan Rice in a Creative Writing class at San Francisco State University, late 1970s.

    Been writing before and since.

    Connie Knight

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:32am

      Connie
      Semiotics – the science of symbols – is endlessly fascinating to me. Probably why I’m so interested in author ‘brands’. What symbolizes your fiction books?
      See ‘How to Create A Lighthouse Author Brand.’
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/attract-readers-with-a-lighthouse-author-brand
      ~ Jonathan

      • October 12, 2013 at 1:51am

        Jonathan,

        Thank you for directing me to the lighthouse brand module; I’ll check it out.

        Right now, I’m working through the Twitter for Authors modules. I find it very helpful. I’m going through it slowly but I keep going.

        I’m going to keep marketing my eBook Cemetery Whites through next spring, and plan meantime for publishing my second cozy mystery, and work on the third one.

        And read your books.

        Best regards,

        Connie Knight

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 12, 2013 at 3:25am

          Connie. Good to know that ‘Twitter For Authors’ is helping. Essentially it’s all about stopping ‘Presenting’ and starting ‘Connecting’ to build your support network.
          ~ Jonathan

      • October 12, 2013 at 2:20am

        Second comment: I didn’t say what symbolizes my cozy mystery novels.

        I’ve put that into my synopses for agents and editors; I’ve seen it in very nice reviews given in Cemetery Whites lately.

        I like Susanne Langer’s statement, “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feelings.” Art can be created by poetry, novels, dance, painting, also pottery, weaving, quilting, etc. as long as the person looking at it feels it as symbolizing some human feelings.

        In a review by Lee Ashford for Readers’ Favorite: “Connie Knight has…focused our attention on a fictional family’s personal history, which indubitably mirrors the reality of thousands of real families today…”

        That well-written review, and another very good one by Denise Hartman, exist in my website http://connieknightmysterywriter.com.

        Best regards,
        Connie Knight

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          October 12, 2013 at 3:13am

          Connie
          Re “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feelings.”

          That definition while beautiful and true (in particular re creating symbols) is too narrow for me. If it’s ‘feelings’ and nothing else but ‘feelings’, that is too raw and undeveloped, and needs more than just EMOTION. It needs to include INTELLECT as well, no question, so the wider more inclusive definition is that Art is a record of human understanding which includes feelings, but also includes intellectual understanding. The artist 1) feels 2) understands then 3) interprets both sides symbolically as a work of art.

          On another note: This is a great review line re your fiction writing: “….indubitably mirrors the reality of thousands of real families today…”

          ~ Jonathan

          • October 12, 2013 at 6:01pm

            Jonathan,

            One thing about our philosophy of art: My debut cozy mystery novel, Cemetery Whites, is set in rural Texas where colonies were established in 1825; families established then still exist. My writing is fictional but based on regional history, it includes vernacular language, some characters stay in the country but some who go to the city then come back.

            Chapters about the barbeque place with the local country band, the rooster fight, finding a black family branch in San Antonio, the characters developed–the book reads more solidly than philosophically.

            My second book, not yet published, includes chapters characterizing two different criminal characters–not the murderer though. This book is more developed than the first one.

            Thanks again for your comments. I’m going to check the lighthouse-author-brand right now.

            Best regards,

            Connie

  • October 10, 2013 at 4:50pm

    I write about the corruption and intolerance in our society. I am trying to make a small contribution to the awareness of our society. I do admit, sometimes I feel like I am shoveling sand against the tide with a small shovel from a child’s sandbox, but I have tenacity. I do not intend to quit.

    Thank you for asking.

    Daniel

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:29am

      Daniel
      Grit and tenacity. Good man. This is in short supply with the ‘Y’ generation.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 6:04pm

    Thanks for asking, Jonathan.

    I write to share author interviews and reviews and advise all kinds of authors.
    I write to honor and evaluate others.
    I write to tell stories.
    I write because it’s better than keeping everything bottled up.
    I write because it’s a way to give back.
    I write because I can.

    http://www.writeradvice.com
    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:27am

      Looked at your site – a great and helpful sharing you’re doing for other writers.
      ~ Jonathan

  • leo effi says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:19pm

    i write because its so much fun and one of the few things i can do for hours and not feel like its work. I write because it makes an uneventful day full of adventures 4 me. i write because ITS AWESOME!.

    • October 10, 2013 at 7:32pm

      I write to entertain the public.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:28am

      Leo
      Not ‘work’ for you? That’s the spirit.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:54pm

    I love to read. I love to write.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:21am

      Louise
      ‘Love’ … that forever word. Whatever we do, in the end it is love that lies at the heart of all that matters.
      ~Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 8:37pm

    I love the challenge – of exploring ideas that come, trying to turn each of them into something helpful, worthwhile, amusing or otherwise just pleasing.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:07am

      Godffrey
      Recognizing that writing is anything but a cake walk, (a ‘challenge’) is the professional way to approach writing. Onwards with your books …
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 10, 2013 at 9:24pm

    I have always enjoyed writing and dabbled in short stories and humor. About 10 years ago, my daughter began a campaign insisting that I write my memoir. She knew that there were so many women (and men) out there that had gone through insurmountable trials and needed to be encouraged. I have survived (and overcame) a traumatic life which included cancer, abusive husband, rape, jail, suicide attempt, loss of a child, and 7 major financial losses at the hand of greedy partners who committed fraud.

    When I finally put pen to paper to ‘shut her up’, it took a long time to complete because of having to dredge up all the pain. I decided to write it as a suspenseful novel which made for a much more interesting read. My memoir launched a few months ago and the reviews have basically all expressed the same thing “A real page turner, could not turn it down.” But more importantly, “If Carol survived, so can I”

    So, to answer the question, why do I write? Because I had to and so very glad I did.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 11, 2013 at 2:04am

      Carol
      Inspiring to see you not just staying afloat in a ‘sea of troubles’, but also making it back to shore with so much determination, guts and energy.
      Regarding your suspense novel: “A real page turner” is an ‘Oscar’ that every genre fiction writer would kill for. Congratulations!’ On thinking, ‘congratulations’ seems a little pale given what you have surmounted, but is meant in its entirety. Thank you for sharing your personal story.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 11, 2013 at 2:05pm

    WOW! What a loaded question! I dream of success like everyone else: fame, fortune and my books turned into movies, but rather than it being just about me, I see the success as an opportunity to help people.

    Right now my passion is helping local authors where I live (Cayman Islands). It’s off to a small start, but I have high hopes and big dreams. The possibilities are endless!

    The best part of being a writer (so far) is hearing people say that I’ve inspire them to follow their dreams. There’s is no greater feeling in the world than seeing the joy and excitement in their eyes. That’s what I hope to give people with my writing!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 12, 2013 at 1:08am

      Elke
      One of the great things about publishing today is that one can live in the remotest parts of the world (Caymans for you, New Zealand for me) and yet, thanks to social media and Amazon, an author can still be heard, seen and read in the most central marketplaces of the planet.
      All the best with your fiction books. I admire your generous ethos.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 11, 2013 at 2:33pm

    Honestly, there are many reasons I write, but only one that really matters.

    I have to write like I have to breathe. To clear daily stress, to remove the build-up of emotional baggage reality can bury me under. To stay alive.

    When I stopped writing for awhile because of a too-busy life, the accumulated stresses and emotions of it gave me cancer. It was the last straw on a long road of not taking enough care of myself.

    I learned – eventually – that my creativity is my best path to healing completely. So now, I write for my life. I hope to share much that I’ve learned with others someday, but for now, it is mostly for me that I write.

    Thanks for asking.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 12, 2013 at 1:02am

      Susie
      “…creativity is my best path to healing completely…” You said it Susie, and I agree entirely.
      A quote for you: “All writing is communication; creative writing is communication through revelation — it is the Self escaping into the open.” E.B. White
      ~ Jonathan

      • October 16, 2013 at 2:30am

        It is very much “…the Self escaping into the open”. That’s a great way to put it. Thanks for sharing the quote, Jonathan.

        Susie

  • October 11, 2013 at 6:21pm

    I write because there are so many issues crying for a voice. While mine is a minor voice, I write because I want to add to the response to both the good and those I see as harming our society.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 12, 2013 at 1:23am

      Write, and write some more Bill. Relevant quote for you: “It’s misleading to think of writers as special creatures, word sorcerers who possess some sort of magical knowledge hidden from everyone else. Writers are ordinary people who like to write. They feel the urge to write, and they scratch that itch every chance they get.” Ralph Fletcher
      ~ Jonathan

  • D A says:
    October 11, 2013 at 11:40pm

    I write because if I don’t I feel like I’m suffocating.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 12, 2013 at 1:11am

      I know that sensation well D A. One tactic I learned long ago is to move towards a goal rather than away from something. It brings purpose.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 12, 2013 at 12:13am

    Good Day Jonathan :) Great Question :0
    I write because:
    Passion of raising my characters, adding the real life scenarios through my series…
    For the love of my family and grand children and all children…
    I love creating and the inspiration that keeps me up through the night…the visions are coming until I’m done with the novel, then I edit…
    To feel inspired by so many amazing authors before me…I grew up hearing and being taught through oral language…I was always driven creatively to escape my challenging journey…that’s how I wrote my first self – help book, from my personal teachings while working with offenders…it was awesome:0 I feel it’s my reason why I’m here now doing what I love ;0 It’s growth.magic and practice to put together something so unique ;)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 12, 2013 at 1:17am

      Rosie
      Here’s a Ray Bradbury quote that’s relevant to you. (Literary cynics and candle snuffers melt in the heat of this.) “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ― Ray Bradbury, ‘Zen in the Art of Writing.’
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 12, 2013 at 7:18pm

    I write because I can’t not write. I write to connect people through story and expression. I write because, at its base, writing is about communication and about understanding ourselves and others and the relationships we weave.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 13, 2013 at 7:37pm

      Kate
      “…understanding ourselves…”. That’s certainly a key part of it – most writing is to a certain extent autobiographical.
      ~Jonathan

  • Ann Simpson says:
    October 13, 2013 at 8:57am

    It would be selfish to keep these stories to myself when others can be entertained.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 13, 2013 at 7:39pm

      Ann
      That’s the writer’s ‘sharing’ impulse showing up. Don’t think we’d write without it.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 13, 2013 at 7:28pm

    I write to interact with my Characters. I’ve had the dream of becoming a writer since I was 8. I was inspired to be a writer by a science dictionary. My first book was a Harry Potter fan fiction. And ever since then I’ve over 50 short stories. Looking back now, I wouldn’t change my life one bit.

  • October 14, 2013 at 12:50am

    I write because it’s an innate part of who I am. I’ve always loved books and reading, since I was a wee child. I started writing back in high school, over 30 years ago, and am now pursuing being a published writer; now that self-publishing has thrown open the gates to everyone.

    Now there’s a potential blog post for someone. How self-publishing has thrown open the gates to a world of writers.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 14, 2013 at 5:00am

      Jacqueline
      For authors, these are the days… no question.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 14, 2013 at 3:29am

    Jonathan I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, but my mum tells me I vocalised this goal when I was seven. I always have a story in my head, whether it’s something that creeps in as i’m inspired by people watching, or a new idea for the manuscript I’ve been toying with. I am lucky to have made a career out of telling stories – as a journalist, blogger and now author.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 14, 2013 at 5:06am

      Johanna
      It’s innate. I wrote my first story at the same age. My mother had the foresight to keep it for me. “The story of the magic boat.” I found it marked for my attention while I was wandering wistfully through her belongings after she had died.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Suzelle Fiedler says:
    October 14, 2013 at 12:57pm

    I write because my active, unquiet mind has created so many people and stories that they are clamoring to get out and be shared with others. Writing, thus, is very cathartic for me. I certainly don’t do it for the money!

  • October 14, 2013 at 2:39pm

    I started writing to keep myself sane while I cared for Mom who had Alzheimer’s and Dad who had vascular dementia. I continue to share my stories and experiences in the hopes they will encourage, inspire, and amuse those who are going through the same thing. It seems to give some meaning to what we all went through in fighting these insidious diseases. Besides that, I think there was a writer hiding inside me that was waiting for an excuse to come out. I dealt with it more fully in a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago called “When Did You Know You Wanted to Be a Writer” – http://lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/when-did-you-know-you-wanted-to-be-a-writer/
    Blessings,
    Linda

  • Shara N. says:
    October 14, 2013 at 6:46pm

    I write because it’s my best “voice”. I speak better with a pen.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 15, 2013 at 2:58am

      Shara
      Everyone knows their natural communication mode or ‘Voice’. It pays not to suppress it. For you it is writing, others find the way to express themselves is to fret and strut on the stage. Many others take up painting, sing, or play musical instruments or dance – hence all the various arts.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Harold Rowland says:
    October 15, 2013 at 3:41am

    My first try at writing a play was in my freshman English class in high school almost got me expelled, it went like this; There was a great explosion and all the teachers were before Saint Peter at the pearly gates where they were all sent to Hell for mistreating all of the students. Twenty five years at a class reunion one of the teachers said she still remembers being sent to Hell. Some things are best forgotten, just depends on your outlook . That’s 30 for the night.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 15, 2013 at 5:37am

      Harold
      Best comment so far by a country mile, now permanently lodged in the memory! Your generation invariably manages to capture an amusing story with artful brevity. Not a word wasted. Oh for more Harolds in this world. Thank you for your email.
      ~Jonathan

  • jody says:
    October 15, 2013 at 1:06pm

    To make sense of a chaotic world.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 16, 2013 at 2:08am

      Jody
      Good rationale – defrag the world.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Harold Rowland says:
    October 15, 2013 at 3:46pm

    I thank you for your comment, my first published E-book, Enjoying Self-Sustained Depression, is gathering dust. Makes me think the 58 years of married life was mistitled. The next two books will be polished and have a more descripted title. Oh well such is life, the ability to see humor where others see gloom may be a curse. Will close and wash the dishes. 30 for now.

  • October 16, 2013 at 2:04pm

    Jonathan–

    I think it’s a matter of energy, talent, drive and hope.

    I think a lot of what we do in life has to do with our energy levels, psychic or otherwise. I’m not sure how strong my psychic energy is, but I KNOW my physical energy is pitiful.
    Re: talent. I’m not saying you need talent to be a writer or anything, for that matter, though I’m sure it helps. I’m just not sure what talent is. Is it something you’re born with or something you develop? Is it something anyone can acquire, or, conversely, is it something some people develop because they’re been given the right opportunities, had the right exposure, education, etc.?
    Drive. Ah, that’s a tricky one. On the one hand it refers to simple determination. On the other hand, it’s sort of like assigning yourself a mission in life, a purpose, a lofty goal. I’m not sure I have either—but I’m determined to find out. Here’s something interesting Daniel Wallace (BIG FISH) said about this: “I would not advertise my experience as one I so would want anyone else to have—to write or 14 years before you publish a book. That’s absurd perseverance. If your son or daughter was working on something for 10 years, wouldn’t you say, ‘Maybe it’s time to work on something else?’ Perseverance really is an outgrowth of passion and desire…. I knew that I could succeed at something else. But it wasn’t important for me to succeed at something else. I would rather fail at this than succeed at something else.”
    My daughter always says I’m one of the most hopeful people she knows. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, because she usually says it after I tell her about my latest rejection.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I think we write because we have something to say. Something important. At least we think we do.

    Julie

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 17, 2013 at 2:40am

      Julie
      Thank you. Almost a blog post on it’s own. Please maintain that ‘shining optimism’ it’s a gilded stairway to where you want to be. (Contrasted with non-contributing cynicism, which is the cop-out of buffoons.)
      ~ Jonathan

  • Joyce heatherington says:
    October 16, 2013 at 6:38pm

    (1) It is Therapeutic for me (2) and it helps me to keep track of daily life.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 17, 2013 at 2:42am

      Joyce
      Many people use writing as a form of therapy. Same applies to all of the arts.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Harold Rowland says:
    October 17, 2013 at 3:46pm

    My age has allowed me to have seen and heard many things and I like to filter out the dull things of life and enjoy seeing life as I would like for it to be. I think my thoughts should be short stories, and not a never ending book. Enough for now, remember to vote democratically !

  • Sharla says:
    October 20, 2013 at 12:05am

    I write from the heart inspired by life and God’s love; for America, our country, your land and my land: A message of sacrifice, a message for freedom.

  • October 21, 2013 at 11:09am

    Thanks, Jonathan, for inviting me to put my personal inspirations for writing here; I feel more than happy to share my experiences.

    Personally,
    I write because if I don’t I feel like someone trying desperately to get out of a dangerous drug abuse. It kills me if I don’t express myself. And writing keeps me sane. The reality of the situation is such that if I do not find an outlet to express myself, I simply go insane.

    You can read the full post “rules for writing”, and more, at: http://lonewanderings.blogspot.com/2012/05/rules-for-writing.html

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 17, 2013 at 10:44pm

      Subarna
      “…It kills me if I don’t express myself” I understand this emotion entirely. Many writers feel this way. One great test is to list the things that interest you. It might be 100 things. But when you write something down that brings you to tears… that is likely to be your true vocation. In your case … writing.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 23, 2013 at 2:24am

    I write because I have no choice. If I don’t write, it builds up inside until my fingers automatically seek out the keys of my laptop or desktop, or if I’m not near either of those, I have to find a pen or a pencil and paper and put it down on that. I have been known to run into a store and buy a pen and pad because I didn’t have one with me.

    There are and people and circumstances and entire worlds in my head, all clamoring for my attention, so I let them out and they tell me their stories. Simple.

    Fortunately, I enjoy it, else I’d be a world of hurt.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 28, 2013 at 10:20pm

      Bea
      Interesting is it not? That inner compulsion can sometimes burn.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 25, 2013 at 12:49am

    I have been a diarist since 11 years of age…it is my best friend. I will be 50 next April.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 17, 2013 at 10:41pm

      50 years of magic to draw upon Shoshi. I’ll bet your diary is a treasure trove.
      ~ Jonathan

  • October 28, 2013 at 5:15am

    Sometimes I wish I didn’t write :-). But I can’t quite seem to give it up. When it is working, I get the same high from it that I do from listening to amazing music. I write because I seem to inhabit the story world in my mind just as much as I occupy the real world and writing the story world down seems like a practical step to making that story world more concrete. It is like I am tying down the edges of the world and grounding them with my words and sentences – it almost feels physical at times – the racing around to grab and record the furls of my imagination before they float away. And lastly, given that I’m an introvert, writing also gives me the opportunity to make my characters say all those things I sometimes wish I could.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 28, 2013 at 10:18pm

      Jennifer.
      “Inhabit the story world….” Love that.
      ~Jonathan

  • November 4, 2013 at 11:52pm

    I only have the start of a story in my head. I have to write to find out what happens next, it’s exciting!

  • November 5, 2013 at 12:42am

    I write because I have something to give to the world, knowledge, experiences and the more I do it the more I love it, My first writing was technical like operation and maintenance manual for machines I designed. Most of my reading tended to be technical and scientific, but now I find that I am developing the passion for fiction and passing on my memoirs of a diversified life and my war experiences.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 17, 2013 at 10:40pm

      Dennis
      Re… “I write because I have something to give to the world…”
      Your wealth of experience will be an invaluable resource. It’s often thought that ‘young people’ have all the creative power. This is not remotely the case. The full blazing power of a writer generally emerges in the later years after on average and after an extensive amount of writing.
      ~ Jonathan

  • November 6, 2013 at 4:38pm

    I write because I can’t not write. It is compulsion and necessity. It’s as much a part of me as breathing and does more to nourish me than eating.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 17, 2013 at 10:37pm

      It’s in your soul.
      ~ Jonathan

  • leo effi says:
    November 8, 2013 at 8:52pm

    Hey Jonathan great post as usual. Am an aspiring author and I decided that maybe I should try fan fiction just to see how good I am and see how people respond to it but someone told me I should just focus on my manuscript. I have completed my first draft and just want to while away my time with some fan fiction. Do you think its advisable to these I just need some outside opinion.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 9, 2013 at 10:58pm

      Leo
      Best path is to read as much as possible in your genre. And write as much as possible. The issue with fan fiction is that it can tend to lack originality. Conversely, everyone has to start somewhere in order to find their ‘voice’ Fan fic can work as in the case of ’50 Shades of Grey’ which started out that way. Personally I would rather concentrate on creating something entirely of my own from day 1.
      See the video by Ray Bradbury: http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-sell-8-million-books
      ~Jonathan

  • November 16, 2013 at 3:00pm

    I’ll be honest, writing is not always fun. It’s hard work. There are any number of activities I enjoy more at times, but writing is the job, the hard work, I prefer to do over all else. I would rather spend a beautiful, warm summer’s day locked away in a hot, cramped room with a flickering lamp by my side than cruise the streets in a black and white, trade other peoples stocks in a feverish crowd, or sweat in that summer sun at a construction site blowing dust out of my nose all day. Okay, maybe rock star, pro athlete, or acting rank higher than writing. I don’t know. I’m told I can’t sing; I drop the ball to often; and people snicker, not laugh, when I act out, but I’ve always been told I can write. As early as childhood people said I had a talent for telling stories. That’s what drew me to writing, but that’s not why I write. I’m moderately successful in another job. I make a good living, the best in my family for generations. Now, I’m married and a father of three. To be honest, I write to leave them a legacy.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 17, 2013 at 4:43am

      Ryan
      We are cut from the same piece of cloth. Thing is I was also a painter of limited ability, and a passable actor, musician too, but that is something of a perilous night job. Ideas and the creative side… like you, that’s my real forte.
      ~ Jonathan
      PS. What is your ‘day job’?

      • Ryan Holmes says:
        November 18, 2013 at 9:16pm

        Ah, to be able to paint and create beautiful covers that represent my stories as I see them. That’s a talent I should invest time in. I am a NASA aerospace engineer. We just launched MAVEN to Mars today. Thanks for asking. You’ve got a great site. Keep posting!

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          November 19, 2013 at 1:40am

          Ryan
          I’ve been a NASA obsessive since my father and I hand made a reflecting telescope by hand 40 years ago. We even ground the 12 inch lens by hand. That alone took weeks. With the first test flight away from earth, when the astronauts went right around the moon and back, no-one seemed to quite grasp what had been done… until the ensuing moon landing flight. Now Mars is in my sights. Sci Fi has been across most of my own work for kids. See http://JonathanGunson.com for a tiny glimmering. Great to make your acquaintance.
          ~ Jonathan

          • November 19, 2013 at 12:51pm

            You too, Jonathan. Do you still have the telescope? That’s a really amazing experience for a kid to enjoy with his Dad. Have you considered capturing it in a MG, sorta instructional adventure. I think there’s a lot of kids out there who would find building a telescope a cool challenge for the summer. Add some aliens and an awkward love interest and you might have another best seller. As for Mars, it’s still out there but the road ahead is long and chock full of obstacles. When we make it, maybe I’ll be viewing it with my daughters through our own handmade telescope. Feel free to contact me if your curious about what’s going on behind the blue meatball.

  • November 19, 2013 at 3:42pm

    I write because I don’t know what else I would do otherwise. It’s been my passion for as long as I can remember, and has been the longest-lived of them all (although I still dabble in photography and occasionally even bust out my flute for a little practice, but lack of practice has left me rusty). I started writing to escape a crappy home life, and now I just can’t stop. My ultimate goal is to make a living from my writing, but even if I never do, I can’t imagine filling my free hours any other way. :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 1:11pm

      Kay
      I sense a smile behind your words. :) You truly, deeply love this – it’s your calling.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Mrs.D. says:
    November 21, 2013 at 12:49am

    I love to write. I love this beautiful language. I write because I have something to share. I write because maybe someday, someone in this world may need my experience. I write for one simple reason. I love how it makes me feel: free.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 1:10pm

      “I love this beautiful language.” Love it.
      ~ Jonathan

  • November 25, 2013 at 2:31am

    I write to explore my truth. I don’t know exactly what I believe until I write it down. So I guess I could say I write to learn, to understand. How many times has my heart thrilled with what I’ve discovered! Sometimes I discover I have nothing to say, but other times it flows like a waterfall.

  • DePlume19 says:
    December 6, 2013 at 8:37am

    I am possessed to write. It is my passion, my calling, my outlet, and my one true love.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 1:08pm

      Phew… What a wonderful viewpoint.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Alinka says:
    December 16, 2013 at 9:25pm

    I saw the title of this post on your blog but didn’t actually read it and when I woke up this morning, the question just popped into my head! So I read your post and here’s my answer: I write (picture books) because I want to convey to my daughter a positive attitude that I believe in. I want to show her the places I’ve been to and that she will certainly visit. I love the process of writing and creating. I also love the thrill of holding the book, flipping the pages and smelling it! I love seeing my book among the other ones my daughter is reading. It makes me feel satisfied. It makes me feel like I found my place in the world.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 17, 2013 at 5:39am

      Alinka
      “It makes me feel like I found my place in the world.” Says it all.
      ~ Jonathan

  • TR Hudgins says:
    December 18, 2013 at 5:18am

    I write to let out my emotional struggles. I write to practice social skills. I write to bleed. Writing has been my salvation.

    Every story I have written since taking up writing seriously has been some reflection of my own life experiences and tragedies, if only the strong emotions stirring in me. By writing dark, twisted, and violent stories, I gain more and more ability to cope, to take control. Perhaps if I bleed on the paper enough, someone will feel my pain, my strength, someone just might feel my freedom.

    Many of my readers comment on how well I portray emotions, yet I have never lied about where they originate. Everything I write contains a piece of myself.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 18, 2013 at 7:53pm

      TR H. You are not alone. Every piece of literature is to a certain extent autobiographical.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Jaya says:
    December 22, 2013 at 9:16am

    I write because I love words :) I’ve written poetry since I was 11, and I’m majoring in Linguistics. Language is how I know to express myself, and words are the only way I know how to do that.

    I also love stories. My mother tells me that when my sisters and I were younger she would tell us stories, and if she got interrupted or had to stop somewhere in the middle I would always be the only to come back later and ask her to finish it :) I was a curious child, I always wanted to know what happened. Stories were my way to explore and exercise that curiosity.

    So I think I write as a combination of these two things. My love for words, and my curiosity about the world around me :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 1:07pm

      Jaya
      You love stories…. For me this is the prime requisite of great writers. Looking forward to hearing more from you.
      ~ Jolnathan

  • Robert Mahone says:
    December 26, 2013 at 9:38pm

    I write because what I can’t communicate in a one on one conversation, I can enlist my characters and a story to help me convey. If my characters were to actually join the conversation, I’m sure the story would be told and understood. But then, only to one hearer. So by writing it becomes available to any who encounter it in the future.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 1:05pm

      Perfect Robert. (There’s more in what you say than meets the eye.)
      ~Jonathan

  • December 29, 2013 at 12:55pm

    Perhaps the question should really be why DON’T I write when I talk about it incessantly and am deeply involved in the children’s writing community! I’ve been tasked with mulling this over and deciding if I really want to write a book or if I should just give it up and do something else. I think fear of failure, of losing my dream, has stopped me from writing with any kind of regularity. What are other people’s experiences?

    When I actually write, I feel content. It’s a challenge but I enjoy the feeling of stretching my brain, trying to figure out characters and plot and other details. I think I started out writing for myself when I was 14 and had a creative writing class with a supportive teacher in school. I discovered that writing was as much of an escape as reading, but it also gave me an outlet to express myself, even my teacher was the only other person reading what I wrote. Now, I feel like I also want to give something back. I want to write the kind of books that kids will read to escape their lives for a while or to help them understand and cope with something troubling them. Perhaps that’s a lofty goal, but I feel like I wouldn’t have got through my childhood without books.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      December 30, 2013 at 12:54pm

      A. Colleen.
      If while writing you feel content in a way that you never feel in any other sphere, or it’s an outlet to express yourself, then you’re well along the path – ESPECIALLY with children’s books. So great to hear this.
      ~ Jonathan

  • March 4, 2014 at 6:34pm

    I write to let things out; the monsters, fear, hope, belief and passion. That way I can be eccentric instead of just crazy.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 4, 2014 at 10:29pm

      Amusing yet good & true rationale Krystyna. :)
      ~ Jonathan

  • March 16, 2014 at 3:16pm

    I write for catharsis. There’s lots of stories forming in my mind each day and they need to be released in some form. Writing is the natural outlet for them to come out.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 16, 2014 at 8:52pm

      Daniel
      ‘Writing books’ is clearly your natural calling / vocation. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.
      ~ Jonathan

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