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Friday, February 19, 2010

What Keeps You Going?

The other day, Nathan Bransford posted on his blog about what keeps writers writing. It got me thinking…a lot.

What keeps me writing?

I can’t stop the ideas from invading my thoughts if I don’t write them down. I can’t focus on the next thing when there is a scene or a character or whatever, speaking to me. I get this nagging, annoying feeling (like a finger poking me in the arm over and over again) if I don’t sit down to write. This is especially true when I set quotas or a deadline for myself.

For example, this past weekend, the long weekend, I had a mission for myself. I just got some edits back from a fellow writer (thanks Donna), on a short story I was working on. Well, it turns out, as I suspected, the ending really sucked…in fact, there wasn’t much of an ending, too many loose ends. In any case, the story needed a lot of work. So I decided that I needed to focus all of my attention, all of my free time on the weekend, on fixing the story. I fretted over a new ending for the days leading up to the weekend and finally came up with something that I thought would pass as good. Then, I wrote…and wrote and wrote…all weekend.

By the time Monday night rolled around, I was done and happy with what was there. I mean, it still needs a couple more rounds of editing but I think I have something for my publisher to look at now…something worth submitting. What was amazing to me was that I didn’t get annoyed at the process. I didn’t get stressed out about having to rewrite many parts of the story. I knew that I was making it better; I could see that as I worked. The whole process helped me to remember just why I love to write. When I write I get lost in a world that I have created. I get swept up with my characters. It inspires me to keep creating.

So what keeps me writing? It’s that excitement at exploring new ideas, solving problems and believing in myself. I’ve gotten this far haven’t I? Why give up now?

What about all of you? Is there something that keeps you doing the thing you love to do?


  1. I'm with you, I like exploring the ideas in my mind. If a character comes to mind, I want to know who they are and where they're going, which then leads me to the story I want to write. Sometimes it gets a little crowded in my brain, but I take notes so I don't lose anyone in the chaos.

  2. Well I've always just enjoyed it, even though often through the process I'm totally frustrated. My favourite part is having something completed that I can edit - I love that feeling, and I love fiddling with editing!

  3. Because when I'm at my lowest, writing can help pull me from the pit. That and I love my characters. (If I ever post my blog this weekend, it might explain why)

  4. I think its the fun of exploring a world of your own creation with characters that you want to know more about. Its your own private film playing out in the recesses of your imagination.

    Personally for me its the pleasure of creating and something that I find relaxing. I don't think I'll ever get pubished but Im not writing for that, its just something I enjoy doing.

  5. It's like some part of me is this machine that won't let me rest until I write down the ideas. The other part just wants to see how it all turns out. Another part loves the creativity for creativity's sake.