Why Do You Write?

A shy girl


Many things I do in life are rooted in either pain or passion. Sometimes they overlap.

I started writing because of pain… I write today because I’m passionate about it.

When I was younger, I was terribly shy. Especially around girls. Or adults. Or anyone I hadn’t met before. It was actually rather crippling. It wasn’t the cute, “Aww, that 4-year-old is hiding behind his mom’s leg.”

It was more like, “Why was that 12-year-old man-child staring at me, and when he noticed me looking, why did he slowly slink into the shadows?”

I did things like hike my gym shorts dangerously high and think tall white socks were cool well into the 2000’s.

If I ever ran for president, newscasters across the nation would address their audiences feverishly, “Do you think a man who used to tuck hooded sweaters into his jeans is fit to run this country?”

The answer is no, people. Definitely not.

Growing up, I would spend the better half of every day steeped in novels. Partly because I loved to let my imagination run wild, and partly because I didn’t have to be in uncomfortable social situations that I didn’t know how to handle.

When I was younger, my mind worked faster than my mouth could, so I found myself unable to properly communicate what I wanted to. Which left me ashamed, especially if it was in front of someone I didn’t know.

So I took to writing because I could communicate the way I wanted to without being embarrassed.

When I wrote, I sounded beautiful for the first time.

As a mid-teen I came out of my shell and felt a lot more socially comfortable. Although I still really dislike parties where I don’t know anyone… makes me super uncomfortable.

Occasionally I’ll see myself, 12-years-old again, frozen by timidity. That’s why I started writing. To have a voice. Over the last decade it’s matured and evolved. It’s a passion and I write because I love it.

Deep down there’s still those memories of why I started. Feeling voiceless and ashamed.

When I think about it, sometimes it pushes me. Sometimes it makes me feel embarrassed that I went through that. But every time, I reach the same conclusion: I wouldn’t be the same person I am today had I not gone through it.

And I’m a decent writer today because of it.


Question(s) of the day: What got you started writing? Was it out of pain or out of hope? Why do you write?

10 Comments

  1. I started writing stories to please my control freak tendencies. I’m able to manipulate every word and component of this amazing craft. Heck, I get to create new worlds, people and every outcome.

    Also, fear has been the primary antagonist in the story of my life. Mostly fear of letting myself get to close to people. As a result of that, I’ve always sought the least amount of human contact as possible.

    Naturally (at least to me), I found myself slip into the creative writing process anytime I went down my rabbit hole of solitude.

    • bdschmitt

      August 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Hi David, I definitely have some control freak tendencies too! Have you found writing to be cathartic because you don’t have to interact, or has it been enabling?

  2. Uh, sure you weren’t writing that post from my perspective? lol. That’s me in a nutshell, and also why I started writing. I didn’t get into reading until I was 10, but it’s been a wonderful love affair since then. Books took me away from my pain and from my not so wonderful home life. Writing gave me a voice, helped me to understand myself during times when I felt everyone around me was trying to mold me into anyone other than who I was. Now, it’s about the creative process. I need that in my life.

    • bdschmitt

      August 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      It’s always good to hear that you’re not the only one! And I always loved the power a novel had in taking you away into another world. It’s addicting.

  3. I started writing as a child. I wrote books that I’d submit to “Reading Rainbow” (That never were featured, sadly). As I entered high school, I used poetry to spin happiness or pain into something beautiful. Writing is very cathartic and helped spin these moments into memories with more of a voice. Now, as an aspiring author, I am using words to create worlds, which is a amazingly beautiful thing indeed.

    I can definitely relate to speaking before a thought has completely formed. When writing, I can go back again and try the thought a different way. An amazing thing!

    • bdschmitt

      August 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Katy! I think there’s something special when someone works on a skill when they’re young, and continues to work on it into adulthood.

      Are you working on a novel now?

  4. I write to teach, to entertain, to communicate. I’ve never been good at extemperaneous speaking because my emotions always get in the way. So, I write. I have to write. Some people express themselves in dance; others through art. I express myself with words. Without words, I don’t exist.

    • bdschmitt

      August 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Hi TA, thanks for sharing! There’s nothing like expressing yourself through you work, is there?

  5. Hi! I so much enjoy your bloggs, and all the good comments and advice. I can identify with many of them. I also started writing because I was extrememly shy growing up. So often felt an outsider and took my refuge in books quite literally. Have written little stories since I was a child. Had a few published back then. Have written more sporadically since, but always come back to it so now I have decided that is what I should do. It really is a lot of fun.

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