Why Do I Write?

Just like Susanna Kaysen in Girl, Interrupted, I want to be a writer. But am I aiming for an unattainable goal? And is writing a real job? I say no to the first, and yes to the second. But why do I write?

William Rackham begins life as an aspiring writer in The Crimson Petal and the White, but with an expensive wife and a demanding, disappointed father, he turns his hand to the family business. But what would have happened if he had achieved his dream? If he had managed to submit that article to Punch, and fulfill his wife’s fancy of having her dresses made in France, would the horror that befalls him in the novel ever have happened? This is why I write – to grasp opportunities and be as happy as can be.

The power that words can have are shown in the very same novel. Sugar’s novel, scribbled on various loose sheets of paper, is blown from one end of a London street to the other, and informs William Rackham of her true inner thoughts. The hatred and betrayal lurking within her written words deliver the final blow to Rackham, who has just lost his daughter to Sugar. This is why I write – to embrace the power of words.

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Every career comes with obstacles, and writing is no different. Not everyone can write well, and not everyone can write well all of the time. It takes confidence, patience, and perseverance. Writer’s block is a real thing. In an interview, Stephen King declared that you could write the first draft of a novel in 3 months. Well, that’s all well and good if you’re a fantastic, productive writer like Stephen King, but it doesn’t always work out that way. There are challenges to face, and all writers are different. But should we let that put us off? No. This is why I write – to show that I’m up to the challenge.

When met with a negative reception, I become even more determined to continue on this path. When given an opportunity, I embrace it, and attempt to get the best out of it. This is why I write – because I enjoy it, and I like to think that I’m at least a little bit good at it. My life has changed, and will continue to change, and I’m excited at the prospect.

And, just like Sugar, I’m ready to start a new page.

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Why do you write? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

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