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With all the movies and video games providing distractions, and the plethora of self-published authors clogging Amazon and the like, and the difficulty off getting recognized to be published traditionally, why on earth do you write?  Is it a calling, a desire to break through ceilings and be recognized or what?  Or do you write for money or write for love?  I'd really like to know why it is that you write.

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I've got a "Why I Write" story today.    A guy I have been ministering to in prison ministry the last few years got out today, and he doesn't have any family so I picked him up and took him

It's those characters. They rattle around between my ears, getting chased up trees by bears, trees that get cut down and burned. Bears with sharp teeth too.  They don't let up until I write it do

When I was a kid, no pleasure in the world compared to reading a good book. My father had to take them away from me to get me to do chores.   I loved music and was good at singing. I wished

I see it as a ministry. My first book was a memoir that I had felt called by the Lord to write. It has allowed me to speak and minister in forums that probably never would have been open to me otherwise. My second book is somewhat along the same lines, but allowed me to help others tell their stories. At the moment I'm more writing for enjoyment of it, but when the pandemic season passes I hope to hit the ground running on continued ministry opportunities. 

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I write because:

1. I enjoy reading thought provoking books.

2. I enjoy reading funny books.

3. There aren't many books written that are one or the other.

4. There are even fewer books that are both.

5. I think I can write this kind of book (or at least want to try).

6. A funny yet thought provoking book would be a good medium to embed implicit Christian ideas for an audience without beating them over the head with it.

The money isn't a strong motivator though in times past I did entertain the notion that I might someday be able to live off of book royalties if I produced a good enough book. My motives now with respect to the book and life in general would not make becoming rich off of a book a desirable end.

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There are times when I write, the world literally falls away, and I am there with the character.  I'm riding beside them, feeling the breeze in my face, smelling the scent of the pines, and hearing the sound of hooves over hard-packed earth.

 

There is no greater form of entertainment then to be lost writing words from a character in your head, or describing the land that rises on the horizon.  No movie or video can compare.  In fact, I rarely watch movies these days.

 

Then when I'm done, and I start forming the next scene in my head before I fall asleep at night.  Rehearsing dialog before its written, and the sudden bursts of inspiration that come, as the story starts to take on a life its own.

 

And then there is the back-and-forth of those who read your books and "get it." 

 

I used to have this same thrill when I programmed.  Writing the code in my head before pounding it out on the keyboard, and those "Eureka" moments in the midst of writing a function or a method.  When it was all new and fun, and I was forging ahead in a new world.  And now that I've gone from mountain top to mountain top in my career, the thrill and the challenge has waned.

 

But writing is something new.  And I find myself blessed that I can ride that feeling twice in a lifetime.  Few do.  It would be an insult to God to not use the talents he has given me to their fullest.

 

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Shortly after I learned to write letters and words and sentences, I began to write stories. That continued until I married and had a family. Occasionally I would write something, but not consistently. Several years ago I turned serious.

 

It's not for money, although selling short stories helps pay the bills. It's because I love to write.

 

Why? Because God gave me the talent and the desire. Because I found this group of people who have helped me improve. And because I can.

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It's those characters. They rattle around between my ears, getting chased up trees by bears, trees that get cut down and burned. Bears with sharp teeth too. 

They don't let up until I write it down. And then another bear comes along. 

I could write 'til the cows come home (chased by bears, of course).

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12 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

There are times when I write, the world literally falls away, and I am there with the character. 

 

I can totally identify with that. Writing keeps me sane. I started writing again after a family bereavement. It was a combination of coping with the mess I had to deal with because of the person not leaving a Will and the death being sudden. Second, it woke me up to the fact, if I wanted to achieve my desire to put words on a page, the only way it would happen was if I did it.

 

It has been absolute God send during lockdown.

Yes, I would like to get published, but it will not be the end of the world if I don't. It is something I will continue to do for myself to be best of my ability.  And yes, there is a sense of calling to it too.

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Really good question. I'm not sure, but I felt that it was something God wanted me to do. Ever since I was six or seven, I would read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and other similar books and try writing stories similar to pioneer days. Then the floodgates opened up, and I started writing so many stories that I've never even finished (or would rather not finish because they were weird) that they're all in a huge storage bin in probably 10 or more notebooks. Now, I just do it since it's fun and it would be nice to get a book published.

Another motivation is that a lot of Christian fiction isn't the greatest. And I'm not saying it's all bad. From the perspective of a very young teen, I really am tired of all of these books about premarital sex and unplanned babies and having boyfriends and ditching them and then coming back to them. I wanted to write some Christian fiction for teen girls that's something different than that category.

Although I will be honest; I'm not consistent like I should be. I get distracted easily, and with school and piano lessons and such I sometimes don't get to sit down and write like I used to when I was younger. Plus, my imagination isn't as great as it was when I was younger. Lol!

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Since I was little I had a good imagination. Whether I was creating stories using Legos, telling myself a story that was in my head, or using a video camera to help others create a narrative for a music video, I have loved to create. I did write a short story when I was in 8th grade about a creepy castle that got me an A grade. When I was in 10th grade in a different school, I was feeling lazy and didn't want to write another story so i submitted the same story to this new teacher and got an A+ grade. Apparently good stories are like wine or cheese and get better with age. 

 

I really didn't start writing seriously until several years ago when late one night this story started forming in my head and it was such that I couldn't go to sleep because my mind wouldn't shut up so I sat down and began writing what was in my head and 5 pages later I stopped. This went on for weeks/months until I had 130 pages and then i took a very long break before I decided to start writing again and that's when I showed up here.

 

Anyway to answer the question, sure it would be nice to be recognized and published, but I'm not doing it for the glory, in my own life I have only ever wanted God to get the glory with anything I do. I'm not doing it for the money because for the longest time I have had to trust in God to be my provision. The main reason I write is to share something people will enjoy, and hopefully in the process share the wisdom and lessons that God has taught me. 

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When I was a kid, no pleasure in the world compared to reading a good book. My father had to take them away from me to get me to do chores.

 

I loved music and was good at singing. I wished I could write songs.

 

I loved art and the singularly most joyful experience I had growing up was creating a cool piece of art in eleventh grade.

 

When I see something I admire, I want to be able to make it myself.

 

I write hoping to help people, share the gospel and all those good things, but that is because I became a Christian. Loving books and longing to create the things I love came long before that.

 

That being said, at the moment I write because the ideas won't stop coming. Last night I was stuck on a point and gave up. I took up something to distract myself until almost midnight and felt small and worthless for giving up. Despite my weakness, by God's grace the solution came to me and I wrote some more last night, then couldn't wait to get up in the morning to continue. It is not skill or discipline at this point. I am compelled to write. All the errors in the next to last chapter of my current manuscript suddenly shouted their existence and I had to fix them. God explained a passage in Revelation that has perplexed me since before I even became a Christian - for over thirty-five years.

 

I love to learn, and writing forces me to do deep research, and so I learn new things while trying to explain them to others. The things I am learning these days I really need to learn. I am studying how to find Peace.

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"I write, for inside of me is much to say. Too much for me to think alone." Cindy McCormick Martinusen

 

I think that is at the core of why I of why I write. Too many things I wonder about, too many things I overthink, too many emotions, too many stories, all rattling around in a brain too small to hold it all. It gets clogged up trying to come out my mouth, so I have to write it down...

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On 11/23/2020 at 9:24 PM, suspensewriter said:

I'd really like to know why it is that you write.

 

To be honest, I don't have a spare $100 million laying around to make a blockbuster movie, so writing it is the next best thing.   

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Because I like it. It's a way to develop my skills as a storyteller and allows me to play in the same fields of imagination as the authors who have gone on before me. 

But, yeah, most of all because I like to.

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