Why do we write what we write?

I’m one of those individuals who likes to know what makes people tick.  And when you look at my somewhat varied CV, I suppose it’s no wonder.  From working in an office, to managing a training & advice centre; from teaching in Further Education, to being an outreach worker for Women’s Aid; indeed, I’ve even done a stint in a Bookies, although admittedly this role didn’t last too long, on account of me not having a clue what I was doing. 

But what all these jobs do have in common is the fact that they all involve dealing with a wide range of people on some level or another.  And I have to say thanks to my inbuilt curiosity, I find how people interact with both each other and their surroundings somewhat more than fascinating. 


Yes, I’m definitely one of life’s people watchers.  To the point that I can become so engrossed in someone else’s conversation that I don’t actually realise they’ve, by now, stopped talking.  And having long since noticed my interest in their exchange, they are, in fact, now staring straight back at me!  Then there’s the lone individual sat in the corner of a restaurant, for whom after five minutes of observations I’ve managed to come up with an entire life story, past, present and future – none of it particularly true, of course, but most certainly very believable. 

Hence, in answer to the title question, it’s pretty evident that people are what inspire me to put pen to paper.  Ordinary people like you and I, living their ordinary lives.  Until something happens to turn all that ordinariness right on its head and so the story begins… 

But for others, the muse could’ve crept in from some entirely different arena.   After all, some Authors might have an issue so close to their heart and feel not only is it important to get their message out, but that their writing is the most effective way of doing so.   Whereas other Authors are fantastic ideas people, coming up with plot after plot, ready to be developed into full blown stories…

So, with all this in mind I’m now I’m going to ask all of you ‘Why do you write what you write?’    

A perfectly reasonable question, wouldn’t you say, coming from a woman who likes to know what it is that makes people tick!
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10 responses to “Why do we write what we write?

  1. Suzie, you sound so much like me, it's scary. I mean, scaarrrry. I just put a blog up last weekend that poses a similar question regarding outer references versus what's on the inside of a character.To answer your posed question, I write what I write because I can't not write it, if that makes sense.

  2. Hi, Pat. Thanks for dropping by. It just goes to show how we writers are constantly coming up with the same ideas to write about, although hopefully, with each of us putting our own slant on it! And I totally get what you say about how you 'can't not write'… That's the writing bug for you, isn't it? Once we're hooked, we're hooked for life x

  3. My father was a journalist and I always dreamed of following in his footsteps. So When I got a job on our local weekly newspaper thought I had finally arrived.'I've always wanted to write,' I declared innocently on my first day at the office.'Journalists don't write,' my colleague retorted, 'they simply report the news.' He had a point.Later I moved on to feature writing for glossy magazines and by then, at the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to write a book.The book is finally written, Suzie (with several more attempts discarded on the way.) I want to see it published – it's what drives me on. So watch this space!

  4. I will most certainly watch this space, Guernsey Girl. And well done for sticking with it no matter what – writing is as much about perseverence these days as it is about talent x

  5. I think I write the stuff that seeps away from deep within me, a bit like tar oozing out of the earth. I've found it's less painful that waiting for a gusher….Viv

  6. I write about real life with a paranormal twist, because to me that is far more exciting! I can't help but watch people and wonder how they would be if they were vampires, werewolves, or other supernatural creatures. It has always been something of an obsession. I have to write otherwise I would go insane…

  7. Suzie, Thanks for your support on our Yahoo group. I write because it's what I've always done, like breathing. It's not really an option not to write. Usually, it's because something is knocking to get out — not that my words have that much wisdom, but I love when I read something and I think, "Yes. I've felt that exact thing." So I hope people will read what I write and feel the same way.

  8. I think you're echoing what most of us writers feel, Paulita. Not just in the 'need' to write and keep writing, but also the hope of a reaction to what it is we're creating. All the best x

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