Why We Write

The Prompt: This week’s writing prompt is a bit different than usual. Instead of telling us a fictional tale, we’d like to read about the why behind your wondrous words. Describe in the comments—in under 500 words (and in this case, brevity is best)—the reason why you love writing.

You can also share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but be sure include the hashtag #WhyWeWrite. Your response could appear in the February 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest.

And for those of you who prefer more traditional prompts, never fear: We’ll be back next week with a thought-provoking query in our usual vein.


Need some inspiration? These famous authors have offered reasons why they write:

Gustave Flaubert
“Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living.”

Joan Didion
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. …What is going on in these pictures in my mind?”

Don Delillo
“I write to find out how much I know. The act of writing for me is a concentrated form of thought. If I don’t enter that particular level of concentration, the chances are that certain ideas never reach any level of fruition.”

Lord Byron
“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

Gloria Steinem
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got something to say.”

Jennifer Egan
“When I’m writing, especially if it’s going well, I’m living in two different dimensions: This life I’m living now, which I enjoy very much, and this completely other world I’m inhabiting that no one else knows about.”

Michael Lewis
“There’s no hole inside of me to fill or anything like that, but once I started doing it, I couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else for a living. I noticed very quickly that writing was the only way for me to lose track of the time.”

George Orwell
“Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood.”

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310 thoughts on “Why We Write

  1. JHarman

    While I do not write for please, writing does benefit me in many ways. Without writing many things in my life would be difficult. Writing allows me to store information, stay organized, and improve my verbal skills.

  2. bburney.47

    Writing to me is much more than about the order of the words or what they say. Writing to me is similar to composing a symphony in which the words are your notes and they flow together telling stories of your life or the lives of those that came before you. It is a channel through which we can process our grief and seek closure regarding things that plague us and harass our minds. Writing could also be compared to an artist’s canvas, blank until the first stroke of the brush, and what initially seems to be an oily mess of nothing, can become a masterpiece worthy of the Louvre. Writing is my art and that is why I write.

  3. kennwills16

    I love writing because sometimes i find myself not being able to convey my feelings in person. But when i write my feelings down, it’s so much easier to do. I feel as though I’ll be able to fully open up when something I feel has been written down.

  4. Anissa.perez_1

    I like writing because you can write every idea you have in your head out on paper. I mainly like free writing because there is no topic, you can write anything you want. Once there’s a topic, I automatically get writer’s block because I can’t even think of a sentence to start it off. Free writing is good because I can pretty much write anything I want and I can write about personal experiences and I can go on and on about whatever. That’s a reason why I like writing in general.

  5. brianna.sayles

    Writing is a hobby of mine because it calms me down and I legitimately enjoy it. To me writing is entertainment, and going back and reading the things a write is just as fun. I hope that I can continue enjoying writing for as long as possible, because it’s one of the things I look forward to most in a day.

  6. TysonA

    I love to write for a variety of reasons. One reason is because it allows me to freely express my imagination anyway I wish, I can place what’s trapped in my head unto paper and see a full picture. What I’m writing may suffer from multiple mistakes and seem better placed in the trash but because I’m writing it I can make it about anything I wish and share it with who ever I wish, I can also not share it at all and place it away for learning reasons or if I wished to vent. Writing gives access for humans to many things, writing can pass down bedtime stories for children, research someone invested their entire life into examining or facts that simply need to be known. Writers don’t have to publish their book for the world and become a best selling author, anyone can write from children who don’t know what a paragraph is to the oldest of elders. I write because it allows multiple people and I to share stories we may think of, or too simply write down feelings just because we want to. Writing is a practice anyone can do to share their thoughts, and that’s why I write.

  7. Jasmin.Espi

    Sometimes I write because because it’s a stress reliever. Writing my thoughts onto paper is an instant relief because I’m getting everything out of my head. I may not be the best at it but it definitely makes me feel better.

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