Why Do We Write?


A blog by Andrea Merrill got me thinking about this. She raises the question of what is the true motivation for why I write.

Am I an approval addict? Do I write looking for approval? I think this is more real than I’d like to admit. I think there are times I’m driven by ego or insecurity. I’m looking for those positive strokes.

You know what? This is not a good place for writers to be. Is there another field where the risk of rejection is so high? Agents say no, if they say anything at all. Publishers tell us no. Even writing partners tell us we’re off base. Everything we write is subject to rejection by others. If we indie-publishing, the readers reject us by not buying our books.

A baseball player can make an out seven out of ten at bats and still get a multi-million dollar contract. Most writers would be happy if they at least got the opportunity to hold the bat.

So approval is not the best motivator for writing. It’s a fringe benefit. But it is not what makes me sit at the computer every day.

My true motivator is two-fold. I’m doing what I love. I’m creating people and worlds and spinning tales.

My other motivator is I’m doing what I’m called and gifted to do.

There’s a passion in writing, a passion to create, to fulfill what’s churning in my heart to be expressed. That passion is inside me, but its source is God who planted that desire in my heart and who provides all I need to accomplish it.

When I’ve looked back at other jobs I’ve held and areas of ministry I served, I realize this same passion drove me. When I believed in what I was doing in those jobs, the passion kept me going even if the decisions I made or plans I recommended were unpopular, but necessary. Approval didn’t matter. Fulfilling what was in my heart—that’s what mattered.

What are you passionate about? What are you doing to fulfill it?


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