Why do we write?
It’s a question we often ask ourselves amidst the struggle of developing a story or writing a novel. Once our writing reaches a stagnation point – when the enjoyment of it becomes work – we stop. During that moment, I ask myself: Why am I writing this?
It’s simple to think we will complete a writing project and no one will read it. It won’t have an effect on the world. It is also tempting to think this about anything in life. Why go through the effort?
While working on a separate project for my professional career, I came across the following quote:
“The English author and essayist Samuel Johnson said, ‘The only aim of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.’ This happens, we think, because great authors lead readers to ﬁnd or make meaning in their own lives.”
I found this quote very powerful the moment I read it. The only aim of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.
To return to my original goals, and to further expand upon what I noted about writing in my interview with Andrew Hall, I hope that through my writing, I’m able to equip my readers with a sense of joy through the story; I intend to provide a sense of being which allows them to endure whatever moments they must.
This is my purpose for writing.
Source: Rosenbach, William E., et al. Contemporary Issues in Leadership, Routledge, 2014.