writers / writing

#IWSG Why I write

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

I like both of those reasons though Camus’ is much too grand for me–I don’t see myself as that important–and O’Conner’s too introspective–I don’t waste time in a failed effort to figure out who I am. Mostly, I write for the same reason I read: to escape. To get away from a world that is spinning too fast, often out of control, and often beyond my ability to affect. I never choose dystopian stories, nor fatalistic or nihilistic. I pick those where I can lose myself in a world filled with flawed people I like who generally stumble upon ways to solve problems because they refuse to quit, maybe don’t know how.

Like I might.

So, I write in the same way–about worlds with worthy challenges that are solved not by doing the normal but discovering the new.

How about you?

#iwsg #amwriting @TheIWSG

More on #IWSG

Marketing My Latest Book

A Secret About my Writing

Rituals to Prepare for Writing


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 

82 thoughts on “#IWSG Why I write

  1. Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” I have never thought about it that way. I think I’ll need to hew on that one for awhile. Your reasons sound my like mine. I once told someone that my goal was to have them believe it was sunny outside in the middle of a thunderstorm.” Total absorption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is such an honest reason to write – to escape. Writing what you write, Jacqui, you can create a whole other world together, create an entirely new species and way of life too. When I wrote fiction (involving dragons and knights), I also wrote it as a form of escapism. There is something freeing about being able to write and just forget where you are. These days I like to write about non-fiction topics – take a step back from the world and think about what really is important to me in different situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great answer to this month’s question, Jacqui. Interestingly, memoir writers (like me) do the opposite – they don’t write to escape, as they write about what happened in the real word and rehash it… While I answered this question on my blog with a simple “because I enjoy it”, I think the main reason I write is because I have the insatiable desire to share my experiences, thoughts, etc. with hopes to inspire or touch someone with my words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spot on about writing to escape. This world can quickly morph into a place you don’t want to be, for lack of options escaping to a world of pen and paper is sweet relief. I write to be heard, I have a story to tell in more than one story and a voice slowly growing into from being a squeak.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your reasons are perfect for reading and writing, Jacqui. They probably apply to most people other than reading and writing for homework assignments. I didn’t my reading and writing for the assignments for many years. Then I did the reading and writing intensively for my dissertation during the last year of study. The information had saturated my brain. After I got my doctorate, I took a year off of reading (loosely) and writing before I could do creative and imaginative writing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jacqui – I loved your ‘Against All Odds’ – I really enjoyed it … you certainly drew me in. Then the thinking creeps in … all of which you open up for us to imagine for ourselves …

    You’ve done incredibly well with your writing and developing those skills – and help us all … take care and hope all goes well – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I certainly enjoyed escaping into your Crossroads trilogy, Jacqui. It was totally engrossing, and Xhosa never, ever gives up Unfortunately neither does Nightshade or Thunder ~ but that makes a reader keep flying through the pages. I’ve never met an unflawed person. If I did, I bet that person would be boring. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those are great reasons to write, Jacqui.
    I write to explore why people behave or react the way they do, mostly. I’m not a huge fan of dystopia but I do like futuristic tales where the characters are getting something right for a change—compared to the here and now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great reason! I think when we write to escape, we often write stories that help others cope with the world, so we are doing what Camus is talking about, to some extent anyway.
    I have a post for you, but I think I sent it to the wrong e-mail address. I will try again. Thanks for offering to help with my book release. And I have wordpress but I don’t use it, so… my sign off might be odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like why you write. I wonder if you learn something about yourself when you are discovering new solutions for worthy challenges. I think most writers would be at least a little introspective. And perhaps escape, going somewhere outside of your normal world might be a good way to keep some of our civilization from destroying itself.

    I just write my blog. It is a way to share with people some of the interesting places I go and to show them there is more than one way to live your life. I think it also helps me focus and reflect on the places I’ve been and where I’m going next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s one of the things I love about your last book. I couldn’t figure out how a good kid would survive in prison. You not only convinced me it was possible but showed me how. I still think of that book.

      Like

  11. I began writing to save my life. Brokenheartedness filled the early years of my life. With lessons learned, I shared my experiences through books. Still learning and writing. Thanks Jacqui for your inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m so glad you’re escaping, Jacqui! You do it well. 😀 My writing tends to follow either a burst of inspiration around a concept, or it’s a reflection of my mood, which can be dystopian (although I always end with hope). I love the creative process, and that’s probably what’s most important to me. 🙂 Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Your answer is my answer, and I choose films and TV series to watch for the same reason. There’s also that inexplicable urge to share my imagination with others, as if it is too great to hold inside and I need an outlet for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Love your reasons for writing, Jacqui, and having read your Crossroads trilogy, I can see that it is true. I love to write. It gives me joy. Just as reading gives me joy. I love to share ideas. I love to play with language. I like to find the exact words I need to express what I want. They alway seem elusive in spoken conversation. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t write, not since I could anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

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