Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Am I really that weird?

Hi, blog. Did you miss me?

Moonrat and I just had a convo about why we write, or at least, why she percieves I write. It's very hard for me to understand the logic of why people write to be published, but she tells me that's why most people write - for approval, to be published, etc. The reason I don't understand this is because it logically doesn't make sense.

I mean, I want to be published as bad as anyone, because this is what I want to do with my life, is write, because I can't not. But the being published thing is like... it's like having your baby out there I guess.

But I don't get the idea of being published for the sake of being published.

Because okay, wealth/fame - not compelling reasons to go through the agony of writing. Being recognized as literary and smart and all that... you would go through the trouble of getting something published for that? It just seems like a lot of work. So then beyond that, why does a person want to be published? What's so gratifying about your name on a spine in itself? I guess what I don't understand is, I've always assumed most people wrote for the same reasons as I did, but Moonie tells me that's not the case. But I don't understand how it's not for the reasons as I do... because your name on a spine in itself, that can't be enough of a driving factor right? It's the end goal of approval, maybe, but that's a byproduct, not a reason...

Do I make any sense here? I kind of want to know why other people write. I know why I write, but I'm curious as to other people's reasons. Maybe I'm a completely deluded sad person. Strange.

8 drops:

moonrat said...

(you already know my stance but i thought i'd get discussion rolling) i think that for most people (ok, so for me, and i shouldn't speak for anyone else) there's the twin thrill of accomplishment and recognition. in my feeble (or "base") little mind, there's no point in developing myself as a writer if there aren't a bajillion people to pat my back and tell me i rock.

it's like blogging--i started blogging for myself and my friends, to remember and rant. but then when i started getting readers, i suddenly really, really like having recognition for what i'm blogging. it's kinda bad.

angelle said...

it's not bad. i think that's sorta natural, once u have an audience. i guess i always just felt that like, unlike blogging, getting published is so much hardwork that it'd be weird to go through all of that JUST BECAUSE you want approval. i get that you kinda do want someone to approve of your work after you've spent so much energy on it, obviously. but i don't understand the idea that it would be MOST of the reason i guess. i don't think you are though.

Frank said...

I wrote because I felt compelled, thrust forward in an almost palpable excitement. Then the excitement moved to a different plane when Simon & Schuster contacted my agent two days after my manuscript was submitted...When that fell through...I didn't feel like I could, in good conscience, jump back to the plane of writing for the love of writing...writing, as Salinger continues to claim (at age 88), for myself and no one else...So here I am...trying to get that back...I wrote 642 really good words yesterday, though, and I feel like I'm gaining momentum...

cyn said...

i'm not one of those who are so driven and say i write because i HAVE to, there are voices in my head, etc. i sort of wish that i was that type of writer.

i write because i want to. i'm passionate about it. it is free therapy. it is my first childhood love. i was writing before i could speak english properly. =)

i take baby steps. my first goal was to finish a novel. my second goal was to make it a good novel. of course, i'd die if i ever published and could share my little tale with others in the world, but that's not enough to make me write.

writing is difficult. if you don't want to do it for anything other than making a buck, it'll show through in the writing. and you probably would never finish it, to boot.

Linda said...

I write because it beats about everything else one can spend time doing (possible exceptions: reading and sex, maybe a truly exceptional meal). You create people you love and hate, place them in crazy situations which you'd never find yourself in. Then you sculpt the words you catharsed into something (hopefully) eautiful. I also write because I get cranky if I don't, and I love my family enough to get this fix daily. But, now that I'm marketing again... well, ego raises her fair head and I'm unabashed: I want the recognition, the fame, the glory of Oprah. Money... eh. But the recognition... yes.

vivian said...

I can’t think without a pen in my hand—or a keyboard under my fingers. Making a conscious decision to try writing fiction was scary, but I enjoyed what I was doing enough of the time to keep me going. Then, in the MFA program, I had to write on someone else’s schedule and to someone else’s standards. When I graduated, I said “I don’t ever have to write another word of fiction again,” and gave myself permission to quit. A year later, I took a workshop with Michael Martone, who helped me to find writing intrinsically rewarding again. In the past two months I’ve produced two stories (total about 14,000 words), and I may never show any of it to anyone, but I’m enjoying what I’m doing again. Once you switch over from intrinsic to external motivation, it’s tough to get it back. There are a couple of people who I want very much to admire and respect me as a writer, but they don’t and never will, so I’d better do it for its own sake. (Having my name on the spine of a book isn’t an issue; I know that will never happen.)

Josephine Damian said...

Along with being Italian, I'm also Irish which means I'm a genetically predisposed storyteller - it comes easily and naturally to me.

But I'm in it for the money - bestsellerdom or bust, get rich or die trying is my motto.

The people in my local writers group? 99% write strictly as a hobby - out of self indulgence and boredom - they self-publish so that they can call themselves "authors" and write and come to critiques as a way of escaping having to deal with a spouse or miserable job. They haven't any desire to learn craft or do what it takes to become traditionally published.

Which means any time I'm around them, I want to set my hair on fire!

Ello said...

Interesting post! I write because I have stories that I feel I must share with others. It is definitely not writing just for myself. Publishing is not even the end result. The end result is when other people read my book. That is why I write and I hope that I will be given this opportunity.

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