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Why people write ?

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Old 04-21-2008, 01:13 AM
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Just curious here... call it getting a little insight as to why people write..

Is it some over powering urge that you have to let rip with or some emotion that is personal that you have to work through. Just for fun. Or is it for your living...

I write when I am down and I write and write then, most not at all good but then I am only doing it to expel it from me and no-body else has to like it granted if they do then that's a bonus but mainly I do it just to free all those thoughts.

Granted recently I seem to have found the muse that is helping me write without having to be down ... which is a very odd experience...

I feel I need to explain a bit about me and what makes me tick etc before I start replying to some of the postings.. I do not want to be rude or ????

I was kicked out of college for as the lecturer put it " I neither acted or looked like an O-Level student " Hmmm obviously she didn't like my reply when asked what one was supposed to look or act like ? exit college... I was forever asking questions to all she would say.. we would read a poem or a story and write what the author was getting at but it was always heavily plugged on her view of what the author was getting at.. So of course I was a very large thorn as I kept asking how can we say what the author was really meaning... first you have the language, then the time it was written, customs of the time etc then you have how the author was feeling in his head, what was going on in his life.. So I could never say exactly what the author meant because what seemed right one minute was wrong the next.. So I kind of rationalised that it did not matter to an extent what the author wrote as it would always be changed into what the reader saw anyway. So what the writer writes is just some vehicle to push the reader into seeing more out of life and in their life, to be a friend to them. I just said I love it that you can read this piece of writing over and over and see so many things new each time.. So to me what makes a good read is something which is forever changing. But that too doesn't discount a poem that seems to stand still especially if it sends me off thinking...

I think film adaptations to books show this.. I read a book and my imagination goes wild then I see the film or tv adaptation and I am sooooo disappointed at first glance as it is so different from my view of it.. but after time you get to see how the director viewed it and get a totally different insight...

Oh giddy Aunt there I am waffling on... I have a habit of doing that so don't be polite just say oi shut up your talking cr*p, and everything will be alright...

On another note when writing poems my grammar and punctuation goes all wrong... does anyone else have this problem ?

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:28 AM
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Let's see. When I was young, I used to write as an outlet for my depression. That resulted in quite a lot of poems, many of which I still have, and some of which I have posted here. Then, in my late twenties and early thirties, I wrote almost nothing, maybe because I was too busy living and playing - and working. Once I left paid employment to devote myself to the raising of my daughter, I began writing again but turned to the outside world and my imagination for inspiration. Poetry proved to be the wrong medium, though, so I switched to writing prose. Now, in the past year, I have written several poems although prose remains my preference.

I found that bit about your lecturer very interesting. One of things I disliked about reading books in school was the way the teacher or professor would expound on the author's meaning or intention as though there was absoultely no question about it. That's all well and good if the author has left a journal detailing what they wrote and why, but many do/did not. And, in the case of dead authors, they won't be revealing any details in magazine interviews or radio and television chat shows.

You also make a valid point about having to take various factors into consideration when reading a novel, ie time period, location, social customs and even the moral climate. Added to that, the meanings of words change over the years so, in some cases, one must revert to the original, forgotten definition to really grasp the meaning of a passage or phrase.

John Sutherland, the Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London (whew!), has written several wonderful books (ie Is Heathcliff A Murderer?) which delve into various literary puzzles and conundrums. The books are brilliant because they show how easy it can be to misinterpret the author's meaning, especially with the passage of time.

The other point you make, which I thought very valid, was that to some extent the meaning of any book is dependent on the person reading it, and their mindset (if you will) at the time. I have read some books again only to find that my first impression no longer stands up. Something I thought tragic can, on a second reading, seem simply unfortunate but not devastating. Since the words of the book have not changed, it is my attiudes or opinions that have undergone a change, and thus altered my perception of the work.



On that other, rather unrelated, issue of grammar and punctuation in poetry, I am of the conviction that punctuation is punctuation and grammar is grammar, so what works for prose, works for poetry. I try to apply the same rules to poetry that I use for prose, and it seems to work for me. Of course, there are probably instances where one breaks the odd rule or stetches it a bit, but these are exceptions.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:23 AM
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I've found both posts extremely interesting. I have to admit though I try not to focus on why I write too much. I signed up to a new writers forum once, and despite the fact that I insisted I write for myself, I got into a very heated debate with certain members who felt that the only reason anyone writes is for it to get noticed.

To me personally writing is something that I do because I can, and because it feels natural to me. But then I certainly do not write pieces that others would find interesting. I f I can learn to improve my skills then so much the better. But to me it would not be then end of the world if my pieces never saw the light of day.

I think being a mum has changed things for me. Before hand I was all drive and ambition, and while I haven't completely lost that, I look at my children and want to enjoy my time with them while I have it. I used to be able to lose myself in writing for days on end. I'm lucky now if I have a spare five minutes!
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:25 AM
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Wow what a great response and I will defo look out to the John Sutherland books, they sound like they would appeal to me loads at the moment... lol

I to tend to write for myself first but well if fame, glory and loads of moolah follow then I wouldn't be averse to keeping up the act lol that is as long as I could do it all by e-mail and no-one knows its me lol ;-)
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SuddenlySarah View Post
I've found both posts extremely interesting. I have to admit though I try not to focus on why I write too much. I signed up to a new writers forum once, and despite the fact that I insisted I write for myself, I got into a very heated debate with certain members who felt that the only reason anyone writes is for it to get noticed.

To me personally writing is something that I do because I can, and because it feels natural to me. But then I certainly do not write pieces that others would find interesting. I f I can learn to improve my skills then so much the better. But to me it would not be then end of the world if my pieces never saw the light of day.
Originally Posted by Carpe Diem View Post

I to tend to write for myself first but well if fame, glory and loads of moolah follow then I wouldn't be averse to keeping up the act lol that is as long as I could do it all by e-mail and no-one knows its me lol ;-)

I have noticed that some forums tend to lean to heavily (in my opinion) on the goal of getting published. While most of us would hardly grumble if offered fame or fortune, writing for the pleasure of it should not be overlooked. It's an enjoyable way to pass one's time, requires little by way of equipment since it can be managed with pen and paper, and brings a great deal of satisfaction.

As for avoiding celebrity, a lot of authors use pseudonyms when publishing so they can go about their daily lives without being fussed over.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:41 AM
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Why do I write? Because my word processor is there -- staring at me, calling to me, haunting me. I can't say no to the damn thing.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:59 AM
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Because is the best way to espress myself, so I love to do it.

Starrwriter I love you answer, it was the best
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:35 AM
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Yup if there was a prize it would defo go to starrwriter
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:47 PM
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i write because the words and ideas in my head have to get out and be seen... period... to me, it's not a choice any more than breathing is...
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:24 AM
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Sorry to say move over Starrwriter for a bit mammamaia has taken the lead now... lol
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:45 PM
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I have a BS in Biochemistry and I work as a Formulation Scientist for a contract research organization. All this means is that I've done nothing but technical writing for 13+ years (zzz... stale... zzz... passive voice... zzz... boring...). I took a class in creative writing when I was in college, but all it did was make me not want to write creatively... my professor didn't like anything that wasn't about Africa or death. And, he detested medieval fantasy -- my favorite, of course.

About a year ago, I was out of work. I was spending a good bit of time on the internet searching job sites and sending out resumes. I really don't know why but, one day, I got the urge to write a story. I had this kernel of an idea bouncing around my head. I kinda thought it would have made a good movie. I started typing and went nuts. I hit 70,000 words within a couple weeks.

I've been tinkering with it ever since. I've posted on many writing boards and gotten all kinds of good tips and suggestions. Also, I sent a chapter to a friend of mine from high-school who grew up to be a best-selling author and got some really good suggestions from her about improving my writing. She is an inspiration for me, because I got to read her stuff in English class decades ago, and her writing prowess has always impressed me.

It's my new hobby, now. I putz around with my stories on my lunch breaks (and when my wife and three kids let me get near the computer). I don't really know if I write for catharsis or relaxation or expression or what. I guess it's a combination. I can say things in a story that I can't in life. I can put creative ideas to a more constructive use than just day-dreaming. And, it lets me tune out the frustrations of reality for awhile. I'm hoping to get my first novel finished soon and start submitting it for publication.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:53 PM
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Well, I find your reasons very interesting. Only, I wonder how many people, who write technical, legal, medical, and such documents turn to creative writing for escape.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:58 AM
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'Cuz I can rock out and make women moan, "Oh, Jaz! You're so romantic!" Hur hur.

Also, I like to push the limits of conventionality. Unfortunately, when I try that in real life I usually end up heart broken or som'tin pissy. Writing speaks the words I can't ordinarily.

My first reason's more fun though. Sh`t yeah!
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:11 AM
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^^ Completely agree with the first part. :P

But, basically I do it to get my emotions out, instead of whining to people and going to a shrink (which I'm going to soon anyway) <_<. Basically I write because that's the way I deal with pain and depression, my best poems come out when I'm crying, and quite a few of the pages have tear stains on them.

But, I do it when I'm happy too. So, basically I write because it's just what I do.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:55 AM
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Escape.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan_Javen View Post
Escape.
From what -- reality? Why not write about reality?
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter View Post
From what -- reality? Why not write about reality?
Because reality, for some people, is very hard to bear. The escape from reality, I believe, is the reason that motivates some people to write. When you're writing you're in a different world, a world with different rules, morals, and perspectives- even though it may be similiar to that of your own. You dictate this world with the flick of your hand, so you feel secure. In your story- your creation, you can do things that would never happen in real life. Make the loser get the girl, make the drug addict finally quit, have the good guy really win, you know things like that. In doing that, some escape from the boundaries that reality poses upon you and, for a little while, become beautifully lost and free and escape from the black reality that will eventually come back to surround you.

Those moments, of freedom, are the reason why I write.
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:08 PM
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dan... in that case, you should find this of interest:

http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=161
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan_Javen View Post
Because reality, for some people, is very hard to bear. The escape from reality, I believe, is the reason that motivates some people to write.
I have noticed this attitude among a lot of young people and it bothers me. Escaping into fantasy is not necessarily a harmless diversion. It can be a form of fatalism and spiritual suicide.

Life is not something that happens to you, as if you were a passive victim of circumstance. It happens through you -- through the decisions you make and the attitudes you adopt.

If you are unhappy with your life, find the courage to change it. This will involve risk, as all worthwhile things do, but better to perish in the effort than to survive to old age only to realize you haven't really lived at all.

Every individual helps shape the world by the life he chooses and the people he admires. Do your part and do it right if you want a better world.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:33 PM
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I write because I want to show people things.

Scary things, funny things, different things, horrible things, honorable things, etc., etc. I write because taking a person's view of something and then completely reversing it, changing it into something entirely different is something that not only helps other people, it helps yourself.

Perspective creates illusions if shadow and light, and just slightly changing it can radically effect not only how you see things, but what you see.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:57 PM
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I like making people laugh because you can't be crying when you're laughing. I got into this lifestyle - because that's what it is - when my older brother (he's got one year on me) spiraled into a deep depression. The clinical sort - not the type we all occasionally have. I found I could cheer up and have devoted my life to it since. Writing is a natural byproduct of all this.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:55 PM
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I write because it isn't there. Tell me who I stole that from.
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Old 05-10-2008, 02:52 AM
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"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." Thomas Berger, author of Little Big Man among others.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:35 AM
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I write to keep from going utterly insane. Don't we all?

Honestly, I have the most deranged attraction to worlds beyond our comprehension. It's become my believe that reality is imaginary and imaginary is reality, or as Einstein calls it, spookiness at a distance.

My believe system forces me to challenge reality and writing calms me down when my mind's about to override and stick me in a straight-jacket.

I love it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:58 PM
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I write to keep from going utterly insane. Don't we all?
of course not... some write because they are... and some, comme moi, because so many others seem to be!... ;-)
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mammamaia View Post
of course not... some write because they are... and some, comme moi, because so many others seem to be!... ;-)
Very well put mam, but what do the insane perceive to be sane? Perhaps, the feeling is mutual between all people and there truly is no sanity...
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:19 PM
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sanity, my dear AN--like beauty and obscenity--is often in the eye of the beholder... and/or the beholden!
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:09 PM
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lol, then let us both hope our walls do not ever go white, mam. I do wish to keep my sanity in the present tense.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:16 PM
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ah, but i cherish my insane difference!

chacun son got, mon brave... hugs, m
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:10 PM
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I do it because sometimes, when I'm writing, I come up with something that gives me goosebumps. Or, that makes me sniff back a tear. That's what keeps me plicking on the keyboard until PM bleeds into AM.
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