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Why do you write?

For many years, I have had this intrinsic desire to write. It’s as innate a part of me as having blue eyes. Writing gives me an outlet to express thoughts from the simple to the complex, to present stories that are in my head.

Mostly, writing is a creative release for me, when most of what I do in my day job as a software developer is logical and methodical.

Given the number of blogs that exist and the sheer volume of books that are sitting in Amazon’s catalogs, then clearly I’m not the only one for whom writing has appeal. Anybody with a computer these days can be a writer within a matter of moments.

For some, writing is a deeply personal thing; their words are never for the eyes of others. For others, it’s a way of sharing parts of themselves in a way that they are unable to do in any other way.

My question is, what is it that writing means to you? Why do you feel this desire to put words down on paper, or these days, into a computer? I found that by trying to understand what it is that drives me to write, it allowed me to better focus the types of writing that I do.

If you wish to improve your writing, then it helps to try to analyze the types of writing that you do. As an exercise, sit down and think about what you write, and what the goal of any given essay or article might be. Are you trying to resolve a concept you find difficult to deal with? Do you feel you have experiences that you wish to share? Or is there a story that you think others might find of value?

By trying to understand what the goal of your writing is, you can then try to structure your words in a way that better achieves that goal. Imagine if J.K. Rowling didn’t plan her story beyond the first book? While you may have read the story and enjoyed it, the whole universe that she created would probably not exist.

Of course, even if you don’t or can’t make a plan up front, write anyway! With word processors, it’s possible to reshape a story after you have laid down the ideas that are in your head when you have a clearer idea of the overall narrative that you are trying to tell. But don’t skip the step of a big picture; if it’s unclear to you, it will be unclear to your prospective readership.

If your heart tells you to write, then write as little or as often as you wish. Try to understand what drives you and how to focus your writing, but write.

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