The Q: Define What Writing Means to You (Plus, Win a Free WD Subscription!)

The QWriting means a lot of different things to a lot of people. It can be a release. It can be a way to pay the rent. It can be a way to exact revenge on a nemesis without actually committing a crime. But to all of us, it means something–otherwise, we wouldn’t carve time out of our busy schedules to do it.

So my Q to you is: What Does Writing Mean to You?

To be fair, it’s important that I put myself out there as well so here it goes:

To me writing means … a way to entertain myself and others (and to forget that I have a fairly large overdue phone bill sitting on my counter).

To up the ante, I’ll randomly select three people who comment on this post and share this post with others by Monday, January 23, 2012, to win a free one-year subscription to WD (or extend it for an additional year if you already have one).

HOW TO WIN (Please read): 1) Comment on this post. 2) In addition to commenting, you must share news (a link) of The Q at least once through your blog, Facebook or Twitter. If you tweet the news, just include the handle @BrianKlems in your tweet, so we can find it later to verify (example tweet below). If you click the “like” button at the bottom of this post, it will post to Facebook and I can track it (or link to it in your comment). If you blog, please include your actual link within your comment below. Deadline is Monday, January 23, 2012. [DEADLINE HAS PASSED—WINNERS LISTED BELOW] Simple as that! Questions about the contest? E-mail me at

Example Tweet:
The Q: Define What Writing Means to You & Win a Free @WritersDigest Subscription – (thanks to @BrianKlems)

Let’s really dig deep and find out what the meaning of writing really is—and have a fun time reading everyone’s thoughts.


WINNERS OF A FREE WD SUBSCRIPTION: shadowprancer, KiraD, ejrmom (Thanks to everyone who participated!)

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
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127 thoughts on “The Q: Define What Writing Means to You (Plus, Win a Free WD Subscription!)

  1. lizculver

    To me writing means a way to figure things out in life, to find a way to express situations or what I’m thinking or what I fear or to find the truth in something. Writing means a way to escape and create different worlds. Writing has been what I’ve always done and I don’t know how not to do it.

  2. tygerrose

    For me, writing is the physical act of exercising/exorcising (depends on my chocolate level that day) that voice in my head that usually calls “Bullshit” on every half-assed thought or idea I try to limp by on.

  3. jeffdavis

    Long ago and far away, I wrote something on a piece of paper that I thought was funny and read it to my friends. They laughed and it thrilled me. Then I wrote down something I thought was sad and read that to my friends. They cried and that thrilled me even more. In 2004, I wrote a novel about a nurse named Adele and published it. One hundred and sixty people bought it. Some emailed me telling me how they laughed and cried and I got my thrill. One lady wrote and told me that whenever she was in a difficult situation, she was going to ask herself, “What would Adele do?” And that, sir, is why I write.

  4. lfredrich

    Writing is a way for me to share my passions, feed my soul, and put a little bit of extra money in my pocket. It’s a calling and a vocation as much as anything. When you feel the words pushing through your skin, there’s just no choice but to give them an outlet.

  5. Zee503

    I write because I’m god in control of my world on paper. The characters are mine!! How he or she may look, the mood of the story, the scenery, and how the story ends is deteremined from me. I’m not a verbal person but I ‘shout out’ who I am by expressing imaginery soulful thoughts and feelings on electronic like-paper.

    ***thanks to @BrianKlems (tweeted as @Zee503)

  6. Jim & Nancy Simplain

    To us, writing is everything from relaxation to therapy to earning a living to getting back at our respective nemeses without going to prison for a very long, long time. It’s also an exercise in togetherness and compromise. We try to write as a husband-and-wife team, but we are so very different in our approaches that the teamwork thing just does not work when we try to originate the story together. Therefore, since we want to stay married, we each write our own versions and take the best of each for the final story.

  7. Lori Roeleveld

    Writing is a selfishly satisfying way for me to express myself and find, upon the reading, that I have also expressed the internal lives of others who are not adept with words. It is a way for me to explain deep, complicated notions in the form of a story that engages and entertains so that people don’t tune me out before they hear me out. It’s a way for my inner self to stay connected with my public self while also drawing me into a community of others who discover, through my words, that we are like-minded.

  8. mccipolla

    Writing is a way to put down the snippets of dreams, observations, thoughts, remembered things from earlier days in a way that is enjoyable for me and hopefully others. And will be something new so I can maybe ward off the effects of old age approaching. Wouldn’t hurt to sell a few to supplement my children’s and grand-children’s inheritance.

  9. lOveLillay

    To me, writing means freedom. I have the freedom to express my opinions, and thoughts. Writing is endless and it can be about anything. I can write anything and everything there’s no stopping me, I can create adventures and journeys, and then change it if it doesn’t suit. I can write about anything and make it colourful. Writing means the world to me, its what makes me happy because you can escape into your own make believe land where you’re the creator!

  10. Janus Roi

    Writing, to me, means all that I cannot see. It’s the breath taken away from me when I’m in love. It’s the sickness in my stomach when I lose something precious. It’s the dry sobs that shake my body when I’m alone. It’s the warmth of my sister’s hug. It’s everything and anything that we cannot see in this world–the feelings and the voices, coming together on pages so that we CAN see them. This is what writing means to me.

  11. Pat

    I started writing in 1968, when I arrived at an orphanage and was assigned a pen pal from Japan. This is when I also discovered the power of words, and what a well crafted sentence can do: make the reader laugh, cry, and mostly, want more. I started writing short stories for my friends. I wrote a story half way through, let my friends read it, and wait till they looked up at me with eyes wide and asking me excitedly, “What comes next?” That made me special at Holy Family Institute. I never put the pencil down since. I’ve used my writing to tell stories for the community in local newspapers, I’ve also used it to create change in a company where I was employed: We got domestic-partner benefits a year after I submitted the proposal to the company, and the employees needed new mats to stand on all day. A researched proposal facilitated that this year. Aparantly, I like the attention my writing gets. Perhaps it’s ego, but not the type of ego that creates a monster.

  12. rNest

    Writing is my chance to inspire people. In a way it keeps me sane, because to me living means helping people be inspired and become an inspiration themselves.

    Thanks for this opportunity. Tweeted as @rNest_. Will also share on Facebook.

  13. Arthur Blair

    Writing to me is the exploration of everything possible within the unlimited confines of the human imagination. It is exploring untold worlds while creating them, too. It is also cool. (Tweeted by @iamaprole on Twitter)

  14. ejrmom

    To me, writing is a second chance to slay my dragons and win. Writing is the synergy of heart, mind and spirit. Writing is the movement of hand guiding pen over paper creating universes. Writing is a journey over time and space to bond with another human being with only a word or phrase. Writing is sometimes my lover, my cruel taskmaster, my funny little clown or my sensei. Writing is what I want to do and what I fight to keep from doing. Writing is my touchstone.

    Thanks @BrianKlems tweeted news as @KristinNador and shared on Facebook

  15. porterhill

    Writing gives me the ability to take all the worlds in my head and make them real on paper. That may be cliche or cheesy, but it’s true. It really is that simple for me.

  16. LadySoul

    Writing to me is one big expression with many sub-expressions, and what I mean is that writing articulates who we are and how we think by conveying ourselves through words. To me writing is a mystery, a comedy, a tragedy, and a love song or love letter. Writing is like music; it is my bliss where I can escape the cruelty of this old world into a place where I can proclaim the truth without being crucified for it and into a place where I can give myself away!

  17. rob akers

    What writing means to me: It is an opportunity to compete in the ultimate competition in the world of writing fiction. This competition is not a zero sum game verses anyone named King, Brown, Clancy, or Steinbeck. It is a personal pilgrimage to search out my truest inner voice in a valiant attempt to join the masters. I may not reach legendary status but I will know without a doubt that the journey will be worth all the tea in China because it is the journey that gives life its meaning. In the end however, it is about bringing a few moments of joy to a life that craves an escape.

  18. ShannMann

    Writing means to me an opportunity to express my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and imaginations within a medium that allows for it to not be taken personally. That’s why I enjoy fiction, I can express personally joy, pain, fantasies, fears, or dark secrets placing myself at the center of the action, or as far back as a casual observer. However, I do not limit myself to fiction alone. I find great enjoyment in the release of emotion through poetry, journalism, instructional writing, self help, inspirational – motivational, and blogging. Writing is to me as meditation is to a Buddhist, as exercise is to an athlete. It’s like a drug, without the same consequences. Writing means true liberty, no limits, all laws can be bent or broken, I can exist in any framework of reality I choose.

  19. LeAnn2011

    What does writing mean to me? Well that’s easy. It means freedom. It’s the only place where you can go any where and take any one with you. It’s the freedom to let things out of your head that others might not understand and will think you are a little off. Writing = freedom.

  20. adell_pk

    Writing is like my ADD personality – It jumps from thinking about writing to actually writing a recipe. Next I’m writing a song – then it’s on to a short-story or to a picture book. As you can probably tell, I am totally unpredictable. I’ll continue to write and mix it up in whatever way I want because everything I have to say matters. At least it matters to me and my hope is that it will matter to others!

  21. SBWriter

    Before I could read, I wanted to write. I would scribble meaningless lines across a paper that only I could interpret. And when I could read, I knew what those scribbles meant. They meant the joy of seeing my entire third-grade class hush themselves to hear the next chapter of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda.” Those lines became words that lulled me to sleep after finishing a book of Nikki Giovanni’s poetry. Those words became actions, adventures, confidence and the anticipation of what would come next.

    I write because it feels natural to me. I write because I want to be the one that children clamor to hear. I write because there is meaning in every word, syllable, punctuation mark and even in the scribbled lines.

  22. puckhndler

    The spoken word has no definition. The word of music creates a an illusion around us. The written word is that of creation, by ones own hand. I feel the energy of the characters I create and the life they lead in my heart. Their soul is the my soul pouring onto the paper (screen) as I push each button. I anticipate the next predicament I can place them in, my heart races, my mind dreams openly of the world around them and I place myself there; there are no politics I can’t fix, no rules I can’t change, no life I can’t create-or delete.
    I write because I am who I see on the paper in front of me. I feel the emotions as I type their feelings and even wipe a tear as I end a love story with a happy ending or feel a chill as I resolve a mystery. This is my world, the world that makes me get out of bed each day, to continue with my life is this troubled world, my fire to give to those who read my work, to inspire them to feel me and my friends that I have made for them, my readers…
    This is who I am, this is why I write…

  23. patay37

    Writing is like a drug to me. It is something I crave. I have to write to feel whole and worthwhile. It is the one thing that I know I can do better than anyone in my immediate cricle and something I can truly call my own. Writing takes me to other places, other worlds when I need to escape.

  24. cmt83

    writing: use of pen and paper to resurrect buried secrets, dance with regret, flirt with unobtainable dreams and melt into a world where destiny rests at one’s fingertips

  25. SMKrafty

    Writing to me means visiting with favorite friends and letting others visit with them too without having anyone call the men in white coats to come take me away.

  26. Andres Marin

    For me writing is to transcend, leave a part of myself in this world after I died. I hope some day my great-grandchildren will be able to read my writing and find out who I was, what I thought … our life is short but our thoughts could life for ever.

  27. Denise Golinowski

    Writing is about interacting with the characters in my head and the worlds they inspire me to explore. The exchange and the exploration feeds my love for the fantasy and romance genres, my obsession with creating the written word, and my drive to express these things in the best possible, most professional manner. tweeted under DGolinowski

  28. Vivette

    Writing means that I can see this world or a new world from different perspectives. I can look beyond my own horizon, experience impossible situations and explore unique ways of life. Writing allows me to tap into the emotions and reactions of characters with outlooks and ideals different from my own. It’s a rush and an escape.

    Tweeted under chameleon_ink.

  29. rochhamp

    Writing is my first gulp of air after a deep plunge into the stress of the daily grind. Writing is also learning through my characters, experiencing things I never dreamed. It means keeping imagination alive and remembering what child-like wonder feels like.

  30. ljames

    Writing meant eveything to me since I received my first journal for my 7th birthday. It sparked a way I could create and speak. As a child I felt like I had no voice until I opened the pages of that journal. Is was a space I was could control when everything else was decided by adults. Writing has opened up a place for expression for me now that is even greater then as a child. I love the development of it all and putting all of the peices together. It is a place of great peace for me.

  31. PaperWingsXIV

    Writing to me means connecting with people I’ll never meet and eras I will never live. I connect with people by having strangers read my writing, and also by creating characters through what I write. It means helping people to realize things about themselves and to feel emotions that they didn’t think they were capable of feeling without experiencing it in their own lives.

    I liked it on facebook, but I’m not certain if I did this all correctly. 🙂 I also posted it on my blog:

  32. jfmcmoon

    Writing to me is my highest form of communication. Unlike speaking, I have to think before I put pen to paper.And, rewriting is magical; it draws from me the most profound thoughts that surprise everyone, especially me!

  33. hause333

    To me writing means fulfillment. I need to know everyone’s story and the story behind the story. Writing not only allows me to connect with other people and learn from them, it allows me to honestly reflect on myself.

    Tweeted: @michellehause

  34. tccwriter

    My cheeky ego thinks that others will be intrigued and enamored with what I perceive to be unique insights through writing. I’ll be clever. My cheeky ego desperately wants to believe that my mark will be engraved in history. I’ll never be forgotten. My cheeky ego imagines a book signing at Barnes & Noble where fans will ask what inspired me to write such a great book. I’ll be admired. My cheeky ego pictures me looking over the ocean from my beach home in Hawaii where I would do all of my writing. I’ll have it cushy. My cheeky ego imagines my being interviewed by Diane Sawyer for being number 1 on the New York Times best seller list. I’ll be famous. My cheeky ego imagines the screen play and meetings with Julia Roberts who will play the lead character. I’ll rub elbows with the stars. My cheeky ego imagines my acceptance speech at the Oscars. I’ll wear an alabaster backless gown.

    Writing is a way to feed my delusional ego…and it tastes yummmmy.

  35. chelz

    This is hard to explain, but I’ll try! For my whole life I have struggled with feeling disconnected from reality and the world around me. For me, writing means creating, and when I am writing/creating it’s the only time I ever feel truly “real”. For me, writing is existing as a real human being. It allows me to make sense of a world I rarely ever feel part of.

  36. jmcane

    I’m a truth seeker, and I’m constantly seeking to better understand our world and the huge revolution we are going through. I’m really passionate about this. Writing is a way for me to clear up my ideas and share my findings and hopefully give someone else a new perspective or understading to help him make sense of all the changes we are facing. I write in my blog, which is called “My experiments with truth,” title based on Gandhi’s autobiography.

    Tweeted: @jmcane

  37. pacanime

    Writing gives me a chance to do two things. One is to help me release all the characters and scenes I’ve been storing in my head while day dreaming throughout the day. The other is to create a type of fiction which I believe is currently missing in the writing universe. It gives me a chance to create a character or universe that readers may enjoy visiting from time to time.

  38. katie_bee

    Writing is everything to me. I have been writing since I can remember. One of my very first “stories” was a re-telling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” with all new art done by me as well. As soon as I finished that and showed it to my family and received praise I knew that the writing bug had taken hold of me.

    It has helped me through moves to different states and different countries (I was a military brat all of my young adult life), it has helped me make and keep friendships, it’s helped me through break-ups, and most importantly, breakthroughs.

    I’ve become even closer to my mother through writing. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer when I was 21 and is now a 10 year breast cancer survivor. She is going through breast reconstruction since she had a full mastectomy, and we are chronicaling her experience for our book “Foobs: My Journey Through Breast Cancer & The Reconstruction Process.” She wants to be able to help other woman who are going through the process and have no one lean on and I couldn’t think of a better way to use my writing passion.

    Writing is life to me. It lives and breathes inside of me. It’s a part of my soul, part of the very DNA that makes me. Writing is everything to me.


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