Last year I graduated from university with a BA honours degree in Photography. While I very much enjoyed my course I also very much enjoy writing. Below are four of the many reasons why I have chosen to write a book over locking myself away in my darkroom (seeing the sunshine we’re currently having isn’t listed but it’s definitely on my list!)
1) It’s therapeutic.
There’s something about writing which creates a bit of a paradox for me. It’s very frustrating at times, but it’s equally relaxing and refreshing. My mind tells me that those two can’t coexist, yet they do. I tend to try and focus on the relaxing part.
When I really focus on the writing and block out everything else time flies by. I know there are other things I should be doing, like the laundry or taking out the rubbish, but they are in some dark corner of my mind where they can’t distract me. Many psychologists use art therapy as part of their counselling sessions – I couldn’t paint if my life depended on it, but I enjoy writing, so writing it is!
2) It’s exciting.
Who doesn’t love creating new worlds, filling them with people and deciding what goes on in said worlds? In writing, especially in fiction and fantasy, anything goes. If I as the writer say that pigs actually can fly (with little cherub wings, which have different colours to reflect their personalities) or that flowers are tiny trees which haven’t grown up yet then that’s what’s happening. It gives you permission to go nuts and invent whatever you like, and because the writer explains the laws to go with it everything makes sense, too! (even if the law is simply ‘because’ – we can’t explain everything just yet, either, so who is to say that people in a fictional world have everything figured out?)
3) It’s habit.
I know this isn’t a very good reason but I’m used to writing, and old habits die hard as we all know. When I was too young to read myself my parents read to me. After that I read myself a lot, usually every day, and eventually after that I started writing. I think I wrote my first short stories (think half an A4 page long in font size 12 and up) before I was nine and have written since then. In recent years I’ve gotten used to writing every day – sometimes just a tiny bit, sometimes for several hours – and it always feels like something is missing when I can’t find the time for it.
4) It’s a way of giving back.
I have learned a lot from books. Whether it’s technical or theoretical or important values to being human, some books have taught me more than the people around me. To an extend I think that’s the whole point to reading – because the people you read about are brave and smart and have better morals in place than some of the people you meet every day. A small part of me wants to be them, or, failing that, adept some of their behaviour. When you read a book and you meet this fictional character who does something amazing and who you have come to admire it often makes you think ‘I wish I was more like that’. (or is that just me?) See that as a challenge, not as an unachievable wish. Who is to say you can’t be amazing? (unless magic is involved; we haven’t figured magic out yet)
I’d like to think that books have had a very positive influence on me, and writing myself is a way of giving back some of what they have done for me over the years.
Why do you write? It doesn’t matter whether it’s professionally or as a hobby, only your reasons for doing it are important. If you would like to share your reasons please leave a comment below!
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