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Why I Write

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"I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create fabric in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover… I write as a daily act of improvisation." So begins the list of mysterious and abiding forces that propel Terry Tempest Williams to her writing desk each day.  
Dear Writers: Why do you write? Whether you're a prolific publisher or a guarded diarist, what compels you to shape your thoughts and feelings into written words? To tirelessly search for the right sound, the right sentence? To stare at a screen until your eyes go blurry? Or scrawl in a notebook until your hand cramps and spasms?  

Every year, we ask you to consider this simple yet profound question, and this October, we're excited to participate in NCTE's National Day on Writing Celebration. Your answers have read like poetry:
  • I write to be human. (Gabriel Goodwin, Philippines) 
  • I write to explain myself in a secret code. (Isabel_Rose, US)
  • I write to feel like God. (Pia Vindex, Finland)
  • I write to kiss the hands of fair maidens / And dance through castle halls of emerald (HollyDays, Japan)
  • I write to find the inner child in me, to awaken it in everyone else. (Ame, India)
  • I write for you. Yes, you reader. (Bellbell0307, US)
So tell us, dear writers, what calls you back to your writing desk again and again? Do you write to explore the world in your mind, like tim.tam9? Or perhaps to mine the layers of a character-building cake, like Rachel A.? Share with us your reasons, inspirations, motivations...

[Under “resources",  you can find the rest of Williams’ marvelous piece—as well as one by Lee Martin, novelist extraordinaire, who offers these answers: "I write because I want to live in someone else’s life. I write because everyone’s a mystery, even me, and stories have the power to make us understand.”]