Why We Write/What We Write For

It’s been a few weeks after the final Invictus Dinner for the first round of writers. Things have died down now. The writers have all set out to accomplish their own separate dreams and goals. It’s been an exciting last few weeks as the book is nearing its publishing stage and I have completed my education from Ball State.

The people I know are still excited for the book to come out, me included. I’ve become intimately familiar with my story, but have yet to read the results of the other writers. I’ve only heard bits and pieces of their story through their many drafts and revisions through the process. I’ve witnessed their struggle first hand, their fight to translate their thoughts into words and words into sentences.

People have asked me how many people have read my story and I honestly couldn’t tell you. I have not checked the stats since a few days after my story went online. I’ve heard different numbers ranging anywhere from 60 to 200 people. It wouldn’t matter to me if only five people read it. The sense of accomplishment of finishing and telling my story was reward enough. I told my story. I struggled with my words and grew as a a writer. It was my personal reward, the number readers is a bonus. A pleasant bonus but not a game changer in the long run.

I don’t want to come off as ungrateful, for I am truly flattered that there are people who have taken the time to read my story and hopefully enjoy the fruits of my efforts. I am glad they found my story compelling.

However I remember something I was taught a long time ago, when the book was in its infancy. I remember why we write and what we write for. We don’t write for awards. We don’t write for attention. We don’t write for fame, fortune, acclaim, or ranks on publishing lists. We write to tell our stories. We write to take our significant life experiences, the ones that have moved us unlike anything else, and share them with the world. We write about the things that made us overflow with joy and we write about things that have shaken us to our very core. When we write, we dig into our souls to expose the truths and vices we may never talk about in person, but through writing, open our souls and our very being to the world.

We don’t write for the fame and fortune we write for ourselves. We write because we can.