Understanding Why You Write

From time to time, I want to try to be able to give advice to new bloggers who stumble across this site. While I recognize that the majority of my current readers are veteran bloggers (as am I…this month marks 10 years since I wrote my first blog post), everyone had to start somewhere. In order to stick with blogging — in order to bridge that gap between a newbie blogger and an established blogger, there are many things that must be taken into consideration. I personally consider the most important of these to be knowing and understanding why you write.

I’ve done the whole “why I write” spiel at various points on old blogs, and may well write it at some point in the future on this blog. Why I write isn’t the purpose to this post. If you’re a new writer looking to understand what makes you write, having a greater understanding of why writing is important to me will only (likely) help you a bit more than a handful of comments on your blog. But to have a deep understanding of what drives you? That’s an invaluable asset.

I was reminded of that very fact by this post from Erin over at Coma Diary, wherein Erin shares what drives her writing. I’d encourage you to click the link and give it a read, as it’s an interesting view into the psyche of why someone who is both a blogger and an artist does what she does. Without taking too much of her thunder away, blogging is a very personal endeavor for Erin — one where she wants…no, needs…you to feel her persona, her emotion, and her passion in her words in order for it to be quality. I’ve talked to other bloggers who write to share their story, some who seek to tell the story of those who can’t tell it for themselves, or even others who use blogging as an outlet to allow them to continue living their own story.

As you go to write your next post, take a moment to think about what ignites your passion for writing.

Is there a specific topic that you love to research? Do you have causes or political views that you enjoy bringing forward for a nuanced debate? Are you looking to chronicle your family and their lives? Does the aroma of a freshly cooked meal take you back to places you’ve long since left and raise nostalgic memories for your childhood? Is your love something else altogether?

Whatever your passion is, I encourage you to latch onto it and talk about it in your blogging. While you certainly can blog about things that you don’t care about, you’ll find that your writing will be more enjoyable — not to mention a longer-lasting hobby — if you tie your writing in with whatever your passions are.

Front page image credit: Keith Williamson on Flickr.

    1. I read that post. I find it funny how her and I will write about similar topics pretty near each other. Usually she gets her posts up before me, however I know that’s partly because of the strict posting schedule I follow. Always good to hear the same discussion from multiple points of view though.

  1. Authenticity certainly serves as a key to an enjoyable blogging experience. It’s also a good way to test various self-branding techniques, something that can be used in professional lives. Another thing I noticed about blogging is how it helps me consider what and how to express my thoughts. It really brings out the creator in all of us, which is why I blog.

    One thing to remember is the possibility of our reasons changing. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the blogs I follow start writing more commercialized reviews to generate revenue. While I tend to ignore these posts, I continue following them just so as long as they don’t sell out completely.

    1. You bring up a very important point about revenue and why some bloggers choose to do sponsored posts for that reason/use advertising for that reason. I’m not against those who do it, however if they completely sell out their values (as you mentioned), it rubs me the wrong way. It’s more of a content shift that drives me away from blogs more than sponsored content. I can deal with beauty/fashion/lifestyle posts in small doses, but when blogs turn their frequency up to eleven (after they used to be a small part of the content), it’s hard for me to read consistently.

      1. Then again, I’m sure there are people who got annoyed as hell when I’d have short story weeks and interrupt my normal blogging to do it. It goes both ways.

  2. This post came at the right time. I’ve been thinking a lot about the reasons I write, why I started writing, and topics I’m passionate about. When I first started writing, I wrote mainly about relationships and the frustrations of dating. Darkness, terrible experiences and sadness sort of fuel my writing– which isn’t always healthy, but helps me deal with it in my own way. These experiences made my posts raw and real, which is something I haven’t really found myself in the same place.

    It’s difficult because why you write changes so much over time. The things that frustrated me two years ago aren’t the same things that frustrate me now. And so much growth has happened over those past two years that I find myself at a completely different state in my life. I’m figuring out where I want to go, what I want to write about, and how I’m going to do it. Thanks for reminding me and asking questions that will help me steer my writing in the direction I want it to go.

    1. Change is a natural thing when it comes to writing. For many people — myself included, as well as you from the sounds of it — writing is an extension of your inner psyche and your mind. As we grow and change as humans, it’s only natural that our writing would change as well. As long as you can still understand why you’re writing, even as those changes are occurring, you’re in great shape.

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