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Why Writers Don't Write

Why Writers Don't Write


Creative writing started with hieroglyphics in caves. Although that would be considered early drawing, as well as writing, it was man's primitive way of putting the thoughts in his head down on paper. That's all writing is, really – putting the thoughts you have down for you and others to read. Creativity is added when you use your imagination to organize your writing, add structure, characters, scenes, personality, tone, style, and all those other things. Just remember: Even the strictest piece of nonfiction is a form of creative writing. If it wasn't creative writing, it would simply be a bullet point list of things that happened. There wouldn't be sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc. It takes imagination to take a talking point, such as WWII, and organize it in a way that's interesting and appealing to readers.

So, let's ask the question, "Why do people write?" and come up with some answers.  

Why People Write
People write to: 
  • Document events in their lives, as well as the lives of those they love. This may include diaries, journals, memoirs, and autobiographies. 
  • Document current events. When someone writes articles or nonfiction stories about current events, what they are essentially doing is documenting history.That brings us to… 
  • Document historical events.  Perhaps Grandpa has some light to shed on WWII, or Uncle John fought in Vietnam and recounts a true story.  
  • Write down thoughts, emotions, and opinions. These types of writings can come in forms such as poetry, editorials, diary entries, memoirs, etc.  
  • Tell a story.  The story can be fiction (make believe) or true (nonfiction)

They also write to: 
  • Organize thoughts in their mind 
  • Share their feelings
  • Entertain 
  • Educate 
  • Inform  
  • Relax. For many, creative writing is a way to unwind and relax.

Some even write with the hopes of getting the ideas and thoughts they have in their head published and in front of millions of readers. However, this should never be your only goal when you write. If your only goal for writing is to get published, you'll quickly become discouraged. Moreover, your writing will lack the passion that goes into it when you enjoy what you do.  

Why People Don't Write
Just as there are reasons why people write, there are reasons some people don't write. If you talk to enough people over the course of days, maybe even months, and tell them you're writing a book or you're writing articles, there's no doubt you'll hear several people say, "I've always wanted to write, but I've never gotten around to doing it." You might also hear, "I have several ideas for stories, but I guess I need to find someone to write them for me. I'm not a writer, so maybe you can."  

Check out any of the freelance writing sites today, and even if you don't hear those types of remarks, you'll see it's true. Plenty of people who don't write still have things they want to write down. More often than not, they search for someone to write it for them because they don't think they're skilled or capable of doing it themselves.  

It's important that we discuss the reasons people don't write, because discussing them will also help open your mind to ideas and relax any worries you have about "not being good enough at writing to write." Forget them now! The number one reason people who enjoy the idea of writing don't write, is that they think they won't be good enough.

Creative writing isn't about being good enough. Let's make that clear first. And just as with anything else, how good you are, or how good you become, is going to depend on how often you do it. Yes, it's that old adage that practice makes perfect. You don't come out of the womb walking and talking, and you don't start out writing as a bestseller or a New York Times columnist. It just doesn't happen that way.  

Plus, let's be honest.  Chances are, none of us will ever be the next John Grisham or Stephen King. Those types of writers are one in a billion. It's probably easier to make it as an actor in Hollywood than make it to their level of writing success. But that does not mean, and will never mean, that you shouldn't write. The number one reason to write is enjoyment. We already talked about that. If you enjoy it, it doesn't matter if you start out sounding like Stephen King – or the kindergarten kid down the road.

Writing is a private thing. Any successful writer (such as Stephen King) will tell you that. If you don't write now because you don't think you're good enough – you may as well give it up now. Anyone can write a decent story or article once they know the tools and mechanics to use. Anybody and everybody who can string a sentence together can do that. With practice, enjoyment, and time, you -- and only you -- can make yourself a great writer.  

But just remember, what makes you a great writer is if you enjoy your writing and the people around you enjoy reading it. Those people can be millions of Americans or your family at home. It can happen as long as you don't expect it to happen overnight.

Here are some other reasons people don't write:
  • They don't think they have good enough ideas. However, ideas can be formed. Even the weakest idea can be strengthened.
  • They want to write, but they don't know what to write. A person wanting to write fiction may not know what genre to write.
  • They think their spelling is too poor, or that they don't have good enough grammar or punctuation skills.There's a solution to this that make everything you write perfect. We'll talk about that as well.

There's nothing you can't write, and write fairly well. All it takes is learning the tools and methods, then practicing by writing as much as possible.

Having Fun Writing
If you like to write, you already have ideas in your head. There are things you want to write about, maybe things you've already written, and you just want to fine-tune your basic skills, so the next thing you write is better than anything you've ever written before. Writers love to write. Writers love to be creative and create masterpieces. And guess what?  It's fun!  

That said, relax. Have fun with it. Don't worry about being the best. Don't worry about writing everything perfectly. Just have fun with it. A seasoned writer or editor can spot a piece of work by an uptight, unsure writer a mile away. Just relaxing and having fun with writing, in itself, can improve it. 



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