Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Peeling an Orange for the Smell of It

Why do I Write? (Last “official” question from my 8 Questions Every Writer Must Ask Themselves post.)

What a loaded question, huh?

I’ll answer it this way…

Same reason:
You peel an orange for the smell
Hurley needed to see what was in the hatch
Describing leaves as merely green doesn’t always do a tree justice
Your eyes opened a little wider the first time you saw an acrobat, a horseshoe crab, a snail
You feed an addiction
People people-watch
You dive into the water without knowing how cold it is, without caring
Your heart rate spikes when you read the first and last lines of a book
The sleep-deprived toss and turn
You forget about sniffing the cork and go straight for the bottle
You stare at your spouse at rest as morning light falls across the bed
A psychologist gets a degree
You rub your fingers over your dog’s ear as though it were lamb’s ear from your garden
George Bailey held onto Zuzu’s petals and kissed the stair post that drove him nuts
Holden craved innocence and Death had to speak
God used the Bible to tell a breathtaking story
It’s about stimulating all those triggers that remind me I’m alive.

And why is answering this question important if you claim to be a writer? Because, as with so many things in life, if you don’t know why you do them you’re left without conviction, without drive to fight when the time for fighting comes. If you have no reason for why you write, you might wake up one day to find writing has no reason for you.

You’ve been shot with the arrow, why do you write?

*photo by flickr


  1. Oooh, our brains were surfing a different wave in the same ocean when we wrote our posts. LOL Mine is about deliberation too, but a different kind of deliberation.
    Great post and I agree!

  2. I say the same thing everytime I am asked this question--because I love to. Simple, I know but the truth.

  3. I write because I can't imagine NOT writing. Thanks for all these posts, Wendy!

  4. I write because of a divine spark within me.

  5. Sigh. I always feel challenged and uplifted when I amble over to your blog.

    I write...because it brings me joy. (And super friends like you.)

  6. I write because I love words: the look of them on the page or screen, the way they sound when spoken, and how they work together to convey what I'm thinking. Whether I'm writing a grocery list or a story, I love the very act of putting words on the page.

  7. I write b/c I have something to say. Something I feel is important. And what better way to convery my heart than through the ministry of fiction?

  8. God said it. I believe it. And that settles it.

    His voice called me to the craft, and I love him too much to turn a deaf ear. Since the day I said yes, my cup has overflowed.

  9. I write because, as missionary & Olympic champion Eric Liddell said about when he ran, when I write, I feel God's blessing. I know I am doing one of the things he created me to do.

    Beautifully crafted blog post.

  10. I was talking to my DH about this the other night. I told him I believe the reason I write is because I love telling stories and I want to share those.

  11. I love your orange line! Last night we grilled fish, and when I cut open the lemon for juicing, I just stood there a few minutes and inhaled. :)

    As for writing, it's the first time I've felt like I'm living out my calling.

  12. All excellent ways to describe it!

  13. I write to grow as a person. Each story I write takes me on a journey and helps me find a little more of me, and correct me some too. :)

    And the dreamer in me won't let me stop creating stories, so I write them down to figure out what they're to teach me.

  14. Nice! I write to feel alive over and over again in oh so many ways. =)

  15. Writing is like breathing. I must do it. :)

  16. Blogger is in big, big trouble for eating some of your comments.

    To the corner, Blogger!

    Think I'm going to take Friday off since Blogger didn't recover from its hangover until after noon.

    Sending love to you all and I'll meet you back here Monday!
    ~ Wendy

  17. I know! Blogger completely deleted my last post as well as the comments along with it! :( BAD BLOGGER!

    I'm going to give a simple easy answer that sounds as though it could have come from a 6 year old. I write, because it makes me happy. :)

  18. Writing keeps me sane. :)
    Of course, it sometimes makes me crazy.
    But mostly this:

    "Writing is not life, but I think that sometime it can be a way back to life." -- Stephen King, in On Writing

  19. I like that Wendy -- peeling an orange for the smell of it.

    Why do I write? Because it helps me see God in the everyday.

    I just noticed Jennifer's quote from Stephen King above...I'm reading "On Writing" right now.

  20. I have written for years and years and years, but it wasn't until I sat down and actually wrote a mission statement for my writing that things started to click. That was when I realized I wanted to write inspirational fiction that would uplift others. I'm hopeful that is what my novels do. I'm so glad I found your blog. :)


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