Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Why I Write

The other day, I was feeling depressed and didn’t know why. My emotions were all out of whack, and my thoughts were all over the place. So I turned to the only activity that makes sense when all seems lost. Writing.

Flan quote

The sun began to set, and the darkness of twilight crept in, but I continued to write, oblivious of my surroundings. Scribbling and scratching until I could no longer see the notebook in front of me, I journaled for over an hour. Which reminded of why I write at all.

The reasons I write

I write to express. I feel like myself when I’m writing. I write not for the purpose of being published or the intention of being read, but for the thrill of putting pen to paper. I write for love of the craft, for the sake of writing itself.

I write to understand. I do not write because all the answers are in my possession. I write for the same reason Flannery O’Connor did — because I don’t know what I think until it is written. Because by writing, I am able to see things more clearly.

I write to remember. Writing lets me grasp life in ways that would otherwise escape me. It helps me connect with God and the universe and reminds that I’m still breathing and there’s a reason why.

So today, I am grateful for this gift of expression that helps me better understand my thoughts and remember that I am alive.

I write because I can’t imagine not doing so. Because in writing, I become a little bit more of myself.

Why do you write?

I asked some folks on Twitter the reasons they wrote, and here were some of my favorites:

I’d love to invite you into the discussion. You can share why you write in the comments. If you have a blog, feel free to link up to your reason for writing.

Why do you write? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Melanie

    I have never asked myself this question, but I am so thankful for it. I imagine the answer is so deep and wide and vast that I would have to write long and hard to discover it. Thank you for this edifying post!

  • Glenda Vidal

    I write because I think I write better stuff than the crap that is on television right now. Because I have a vivid imagination that takes me to faraway lands filled with magic, but also dark and scary places. I write because I want to share those stories. I also write because I find ways to simplify things due to my trial and error experiences. I write because it makes me happy!!!

  • Christina P

    I write because it let’s me connect with the inner me; it allows me to release many swirling thoughts or feelings of joy, grief, pain, opinions that I wish I could openly share, and sometimes don’t have the courage to; it takes me to a different place that allows me to let
    go of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of my everyday life to the Universe. Once it is written, it sets me Free. I write because I cannot help but write. Each word evokes emotions in me. Peace, Christina

  • Jennifer Rice

    Originally I wrote as a way to give updates and information (missionary, caregiver) Now I want to write because I believe God has been developing this gift in me and wants me to use it to draw others to Him and give Him glory. I write because I am a slow thinker. Writing gives me a chance to get my thoughts together, rearrange them, add to them or delete what’s not necessary or helpful. I write because I process better in the quiet than I do when there’s lots of talking. I write as a release and now it is a joy. Your posts, Jeff, are building more excitement in me to get my new blog up and going soon! Thanks!

  • Mary Jane S De Real

    I write when I’m extremely sad and extremely happy. That being said, I write to let go of the extreme emotions.

  • Lynn Assimacopoulos

    I have written since I was 6 years old. First it was poetry, then for Nursing Journals, and then for devotions—then two books in my senior citizen life. I write because I love words and it is interesting as to what they all mean. In fact at one job I had as a Nurse/Writer–every Christmas I gave each of my 20+ co-workers a word with the meaning sealed in an envelope in a Christmas card. They were to guess what that word meant—-only once in 15 years did only one person actually know what their word meant.
    My new book called “Separated Lives” is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA) http://www.DorranceBookstore.com, Barnes & Noble barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.

    Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

  • Arfa Nazeer

    I write for many of the reasons.
    1) To unveil my thoughts.
    2) To deliver a message in the more convenient way that is writing.
    3) To understand better what I am saying :p
    4) To develop interaction with readers.