Why Do Writers Write?


What compels us to sit down with a pencil in hand and stare at a blank page until words slowly start to come? Why do we agonize over each letter and syllable, reading sentences over and over again until they feel “just right”? Why do we struggle to create things that we know others are dying to tear down? Because we love to. We love the rhythm of words that have been carefully arranged. We love the quickening of our hearts when we stumble across a well-crafted passage or a single word that hit the mark so flawlessly it took our breath away. We all have books and authors that we worship, and favorite sentences and analogies that have brought satisfied smiles to our faces after we’ve read them. We see things, hear things, or dream things up that we feel compelled to share. And therein lies the rub.

Our stories need to be shared.

We write because we love the process and agony that comes from trying to tell the “perfect” story, and, to see if we’ve hit the mark, we have to release our projects into the wild. Our hope is that people read them and love them. Our fear is that people will read them and hate them, and worse, whisper behind our backs or shout from the rooftops that they despise them. We worry that we’re no talent hacks and that someone will learn our scary secret. But, despite our worries and fears, the hope drives us onward. The hope that somewhere someone’s heart has quickened over a well-crafted passage that we created. That someone has felt the same feeling as we do over the rhythm of words, but this time we are the ones who have written them down.

It’s love. It’s hope. It’s need. Because in the end, what would life be like without stories?


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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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