At a literary meeting and lunch I attended, a chap at my table asked me, after discovering I was a writer in my retirement.
“What makes a writer write? Or to put it another way, why do writers write?”
We were all on our second glass of wine, so I wondered if this fella was trying to wind me up or was he serious with his question.
“Do you do any writing?” I asked probing.
“Not really, but I love reading.”
So I decided to take his question seriously.
“There are many motivations and reasons that writers write.”
“How about you personally?”
“Writing gives me great satisfaction but ultimately I want to be READ,” I said forcefully.
“Some people say writers just write in hopes of making lots of money,” said my lunch mate quizzically.
“That is simply not true in 99% of writers.”
“What do you like to write about?”
“My recent book, “24 Traumatic Hours, Twice!”, has a dark theme with plenty of drama and tension. I also throw in a bit of philosophy.”
I reached for the wine bottle on our table and topped up our glasses.
“What are some other of your reasons for writing?”
“Well, I started writing full time in my retirement. It’s what keeps me alert to the world. There is so much ego food in sharing my unique voice and point of view. There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with that. My mind is filled with characters and stories and I’m eager to get them on paper.”
“So, you keep a hold on life by writing?”
“That’s right! Writing also allows me to unload my emotions, impressions and opinions. My curiosity about life is my driving force. Writing is therapeutic.”
“Do writers get lonely when they’re writing?”
I smiled and said:
“Writers have a world inside their mind, usually more than one, and you’re never really lonely with all those characters and stories in your head.”
“What are the major goals of writers?”
“To entertain and to inform,” I said confidently.
“Can you elaborate, please?”
“Well, writers are driven by the need to Communicate. With that need is another need, the need to Share, and behind that is the need to be Understood.”
“Writers have lots of needs!” said someone laughing.
“Doesn’t everyone?” I countered.
“How would you conclude this interesting conversation?” said a chap taking a sip of his wine.
“Well, writers write because it’s the way we EXPRESS ourselves best. Everyone has their best method of expression. With writers, it’s words on the page and using those words to connect to an audience. We also desire to leave a legacy. We want to leave something behind that lasts.”
All the lunch guests clapped.
“There’s an old adage that says, “The spoken word passes away; the written word abides.”
With that we all clinked our glasses together.