Why we write

This blog, like so many others out there, was born of my own interest in writing.  I write because it makes me feel good, and I get a rush from watching that page count roll on up.  But as I think about why I write – maybe why you write – it occurs to me that it might have more to do with sheer vanity.

Come on, admit it.  Writing because it makes you feel good is a cover story for writing because you want someone to read it and say “wow, that’s great” – and that makes you feel good.  Or at least it would, if someone read you.  So I’ll admit it.  I want to be read.  I want to get a pat on the back and hear someone say they enjoyed what I wrote.  However, along with this particular Ying goes a rather acidic Yang – the risk of ugly feedback.   And it’s waiting.

Any of us who have put ourselves out there have tasted it – and I don’t care if you’re Dostoyevski or just some yahoo with a keyboard… ugly is out there.  Whether you’re submitting a partial, shooting off a querry letter or just asking for a reading group crit, you’re gonna get some of both.

So, the next time you sit down in front of the pc/mac/olivetti/stone tablet, remember that you’ll have some folks that think what you’ve written is great, and other folks… not so much.  Admittedly, they’re both useful, but do yourself a favour: Hang on to thoughts of the former set, and, in the confines of your head and using all the imagery and gusto provided by your rich writers imagination, set fire to the latter.

2 responses to “Why we write

  • jeffo

    I’ll admit there’s definitely that element to it. On the other hand, the mental anguish I put myself through when I hand over a written work to someone (especially my wife) is awful. Far worse than when I turn a work out to the world of agents and fellow writers.

  • Dan Newman

    I fully agree (and have the same feelings when I get that first read from my wife)… it’s amazing how little impact your wife can have on actualy getting your work published, but how massive an influence she can have on your overall saisfaction as a writer!

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The Doubting Writer

A blog by Dan Newman


A blog by Dan Newman

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