Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Blog Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

Our last conversation, about libraries, ended July 16th because that post had no comments… How and Why Writers Write

I began the whole conceptual plan of Blog Conversations back on February 12th, after a month of doing only re-blogs; and, I quickly adopted the practice of continuing any particular conversation topic as long as each post had at least one comment.

As it stands now, our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…

Today, we’re starting a very broad topic—How & Why Writers Write—and it might spawn many posts’ worth of conversation and commentary and interaction.

We shall see…

How writers write is a vastly wide topic and may or may not receive deep discussion here…

Why writers write is also quite a wide arena of discussion…

Why are the How & Why of writing so roomy?

Primarily because writers are such independent folks.

Well, most writers are staunchly independent; though, there is that contingent of writers who slavishly follow the “trends” and “genre-trenches” of “popular” fiction…

Yet, to be fair, many of the trend-following writers still find ways to inject individualistic traits into their work…

And, lest non-fiction writers are overlooked, that broad field of writing also has trend-huggers and trend-makers.

Let’s back up a bit to writers being highly independent people.

Why would I say that?

First, because I’m a writer; second, because I know quite a few writers; and, third, because it just makes sense.

Unless someone is a mere copyist, writing is something that demands using an individual mind and imagination.

So, the How of our topic must include some quite individualized methods and manners…

I’d expect any comments from readers of this post about how writing is done to be extremely unique; unless, of course, a reader feels writing is some mere formulaic activity…

Certainly, the Internet is full of step-by-step how-to articles about writing—most being hopelessly useless for serious writers…

So, my first comment about how writers write (and, I earnestly hope for more comments) is that they read everything they can get their hands on; and, “read everything” doesn’t refer to books about “how” to write…

Then, that independent writer develops, from that extensive reading, their own ideas and methods of how to write…

And, I should mention that the development of a particular how to write happens concurrently with the extensive reading…

Also, the What and the How of any written piece are deeply intertwined—topic and treatment depend on each other in unique and sensitive ways (again, this is an explanation from the standpoint of serious writing {which can definitely include writing that’s quite exciting and dramatic…})…

Now the Why

I suppose it could be generally (and, probably redundantly) stated that writers write to “express” themselves…

Yet, even though the root meanings of “write” are “carve, scratch, cut”; and, even though merely scratching something could just be “copying”, being a “writer” indicates expressiveness (of some sort)…

Still, the bare fact of a writer expressing themselves falls short of describing the deeper sources of the particular writer’s Why…

Why the writer Needs to express themselves is the “real” Why…


There’s my beginning of our conversation about How and Why Writers Write

Let’s flesh out this discussion…

It only takes one reader comment to continue the conversation…
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

11 responses to “Blog Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

  1. juliecroundblog July 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Why do I write? To communicate ideas.
    How do I write? In spurts – when inspired to do so.
    Why do I write in these conversations? Because I miss being with fellow teachers and children who want to learn.
    Thanks Alexander.


  2. Alexander M Zoltai July 18, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Whoa! Thank you, Julie! You’re helping this blog communicate :-)


  3. martinaseveckepohlen July 18, 2018 at 10:03 am

    For me writing is a way of explaining the world to myself. After the something I call “story” has fermented long enough inside it wants out. That is when I start writing. After a writing session I read through my text and then discover what has come out. There is the story, and there are the glittering facets that contain the whys and hows.


  4. Alexander M Zoltai July 18, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Thank you, Martina, so much, for adding to our conversation :-)


  5. Jane Watson July 19, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    For me, creative writing is something I have always done since I learned to write. I do know my first piece of writing of importance was created when I was seven; and, from then on, I used writing as an outlet. Here’s some advice, don’t leave your first critical missive lying around for your mother to read if it is not complementary :-) Why am I still writing? I guess I am still trying to sort out my feelings…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexander M Zoltai July 19, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Very grateful for your adding to the conversation, Jane :-)


  7. Pingback: More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . . | Notes from An Alien

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  10. Pingback: Even More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . . | Notes from An Alien

  11. August 2, 2018 at 11:40 am

    – I write to cope. I always wrote, even when my life was “normal” (whatever that is!) from teenage years on, clumsy, lots of silly useless things, but I always wrote. But my writing went traumatic and wrong for a while in the last 3 years. Long story….
    – I also write to raise awareness, out my experience with workplace bullying and the huge misunderstanding of what (true) leadership actualy means and the result of this “misunderstandng” being the abuse of power, which is so prevalent in today’s employment worldwide, especially with large multi-national and billion pound companies, where money incentives turns people into raging bullies. (Sorry, I am German where we do long sentences, keeoing sentences short and placing the commas at the right spots is not my strength).
    – And then I write because it is plain fun!

    I don’t know, I just write as it comes. I don’t know anything about rules or Haikus or Sonnets, I just have a bunch of letters in front of me and my fingers start to dance on them.
    I kind of live by one rule, like the Robin William character in “Dead Poet’s Society” instructing his students to rip out a certain page of their lecture book, and start thinking and writing for themselves. That’s the rule I write by.


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