What In The World Are You Writing For?

Line up of booksEver ask yourself the question above? Ever stop asking yourself this question? Regardless of my writing success over the last 25 years, there have been enough setbacks and disappointments to cause me to throw up my hands and ask this question.

While the primary reason I write is because I feel called to, that’s not the reason I want to talk about today. I want to touch on another reason most of us write; the love of storytelling. At the heart of desiring to be published, craving to see our name in print or hoping to see our novel on a book shelf, or better yet, in a reader’s hands, is the love of simply telling a good story.

As writers, we not only love to hear great stories, we feel compelled to tell them, and in the process, we feel a significant measure of purpose and fulfillment. Each of us has a story to tell. And that story is often buried deep within us. The story may be true, partially true or pure fiction. Nevertheless, we have something to say, we long to say it, and we hope it will resonate with readers in a way that changes their lives, their point of view, or possibly their preference to follow a certain new author.

The last few weeks I have been buried in work from my day job. It required working long hours during the week and all day Saturday and Sunday. My day job is a writing/creative job so can you say burnout? When I finally had free time to sit down at my laptop at home I was comatose. Total brain drain. Everything I wrote wasn’t fit for the page. Ever have those days where the most valuable key on your keyboard is “Delete?”

This got me thinking once again about why in the world I write. But this time, I was not discouraged. In fact, even after this very unproductive writing period, zero energy, and nothing to show the world but the proverbial blank page, I was encouraged. Why? Because even when my brain was mush, my creativity was shot and I desperately needed rest, I kept coming back to the keyboard—if for no other reason than the love of storytelling.

So, I couldn’t help but think, isn’t that what really makes us writers?

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Published in: on August 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The story was very well written. Wishing you the best in your writing career.

    • Thank for your kind comments. I also wrote “Lawn Chair Living” per your question below.

  2. And out of mush came a blog!

    • Dave,

      Yes, and out of mush came a blog. Thanks for the reminder that nothing is ever wasted.

      • Hello Mr. James,

        I hope you are doing well. I am not sure whether or not you are the one who wrote the wonderful story “Lawn Chair Living,” from the ‘Readers’ Choice 20th Anniversary’ book of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. The story, however, touched my heart and soothed my soul in a very positive way. Please let me know if you are the same James Magruder who wrote the story.

        Best regards,
        Hamza Hassan
        Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  3. Absolutely! I write because I have something to say. If not today, than certainly tomorrow.


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