Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why Do You Write?

Last Friday, I (Suzanne) had coffee with Kristen, a new friend who wanted to talk about writing. She has a background in public relations, is smart as a whip, new to the area, a recent empty nester, and is looking for a place to put her energies and talents.

I asked Kristen about what kind of writing "lights" her up. Without missing a beat, she explained that it was communicating in such a way so that it changed people's behavior.

"Oh!" I realized. "You need a cause!"

"Yes! Yes!" She practically jumped out of her chair. "I need a cause!"

Once we had that figured out, we sat and brainstormed a plan. We came up with a couple of very reputable charities that would love to use her "know-how."

Kristen asked about what it's like to write novels. I said that it requires a lot of quiet, uninterrupted time to write.

"Oh, I couldn't handle that," she said. "I need a team to get excited."

After our coffee, I pondered how I write for a different reason than Kristen's. I like to write to work things out in my mind. When I was a young parent, I worked out troubling situations through my magazine articles...I spoke to experts and seasoned parents and tried to figure out the way to handle situations.

It was interesting to see how Kristen and I both love to write, but in different ways and with different end results. I admired her objectivity about herself. I think she will accomplish her goals because she has a realistic idea about herself.

Most writers have very vague goals about writing.

Why do you write? What makes you light up about writing? Do you need a team to get excited? If so, are you part of a writing group?

Faith had some great ideas last week about setting specific goals for herself. This year, what is your writing goal? And how are you going to accomplish it?