In Others’ Words: Why

 

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“Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.” ~ Thomas Berger (1924-), American novelist

One of my favorite things to do is connect with other writers. I’ll be doing just that in 11 days: traveling to Texas to meet up with other writers. Hundreds of ’em! First I’ll be in Houston with the My Book Therapy (MBT) staff, planning the Scrimmage workshop scheduled for the day before before the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference. And then (you guessed it right!), I’ll be attending the ACFW Conference.

Whenever writers get together, we talk about what we’re writing. And we always, always get back to why we’re writing. Asking me why I write is like asking me why I breathe.

I have to.

If I’m not breathing, I’m not alive.

If I’m not writing … well, I’m not living — being who God created me to be.

And I agree with Thomas Berger’s assessment too: Writers write because it isn’t there. What isn’t there?

Story.

There are stories waiting to be told, to be written … and read. People love stories — and writers? We fashion stories that people fall in love with.

At least, that’s my goal as a writer.

In Your Words: Why do you write? Readers, do you have a favorite genre of story that you like to read?

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36 Comments

  1. September 5, 2012, 6:21 am   /  Reply

    Reason today: Sanity. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Makes me feel more alive, too.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      September 5, 2012, 6:36 am   /  Reply

      Ah, yes, there is that whole “sanity” thing.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • September 5, 2012, 9:31 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Wendy, I totally get you.

    • September 6, 2012, 8:27 am   /  Reply

      What Wendy said. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Beth Vogt
        September 6, 2012, 12:54 pm   /  Reply

        ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. September 5, 2012, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    I love that quote–hadn’t heard it before.
    I loved books, conveniently lived opposite a library. In third grade I was rattling off and writing down poetry, got a highly positive audience (since teacher was out of the room) but also love that satisfying release feeling when we’ve described and expressed something as well as we can.

  3. Jeanne T
    September 5, 2012, 8:16 am   /  Reply

    I write because I love to write. ๐Ÿ™‚ Words from heart to page–something about it brings me peace. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:48 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne … sometimes I feel like I’m wrestling with words … and then there is that moment when the words say “Uncle.” Then there’s peace.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. September 5, 2012, 9:01 am   /  Reply

    Hmmm…okay, I’m going to be honest here. I write because I love it, yes, but I don’t know if I’d take the time to write full novels if I didn’t think there was the possibility of publication. Maybe that’s very anti-art of me. I don’t know. But I see it as my ministry, a talent God gave me that I want to use somehow. I’m not saying “God told me I’d be published” or anything like that…just that I see it as a viable way to make a difference while doing something I love.

    Now, all that said, I wouldn’t be able to live without writing in some way…mainly my journal. I write out my prayers and that’s when they seem most alive and real to me. It’s when I feel closest to God.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:49 pm   /  Reply

      Lindsay,
      I don’t see you as being anti-art — and I appreciate your honesty.
      I love to write — I have to write. But oh, I want to be published too! And achieving that dream, first as a journalist and then as a novelist — reason to rejoice and Happy Dance!

  5. Loree Huebner
    September 5, 2012, 9:23 am   /  Reply

    Great quote.

    I write because it’s what God put on my heart to do. I can no longer fight it. One of my favorite writer quotes is:

    “A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.” ~Leo Rosten American Novelist 1908-1997

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:50 pm   /  Reply

      Loree:
      Love that quote.
      And yes, we want to be understood.
      And maybe that’s why some of the negative reviews hurt. We think: Hey, how did they not “get” me and my story?

  6. September 5, 2012, 9:30 am   /  Reply

    Beth, my whole life I’ve lived to tell a good story. Often, I can’t even describe it – it’s kind of like trying to describe why my heart beats or why my lungs breath – it’s what I do because I was created to do it and it comes just as easily to me. It’s a part of who I am, and until I entered this blogging world, I had met very few people who spoke this same language. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to be at a conference with “others” – people who get me, because they can’t really describe it, either. Looking forward to that coming day!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:51 pm   /  Reply

      I understand, I understand.
      And I’ll see you soon!
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. September 5, 2012, 9:59 am   /  Reply

    I’m so glad you write, Beth, because we get to enjoy your wonderful stories. I had such fun reading Wish You Were Here.

    I write for many reasons, but I’d say one of the primary ones is that I’m smitten with words and love playing with them.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:51 pm   /  Reply

      Smitten.
      I. Love. That. Word.
      And even more, I love you and the way you tell a story, Keli.

  8. September 5, 2012, 10:01 am   /  Reply

    I haven’t always dreamed of writing. Haven’t always longed to be published.

    But, I have always written. Getting my thoughts on a blank page is something that fuels my soul. Finding ways to surprise readers and frame words gives me a challenge I crave. The chance to write to change hearts, that gives me wings.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

      Michelle,
      You are all about the surprise … the Aha! moment … I like that about you.

  9. September 5, 2012, 10:10 am   /  Reply

    It’s all about the story for me! I hear conversations and imagine moments and know it’s a story waiting to be told. And I have the drive to be the one to tell it…and I like to think that creative drive comes from God…that He’s given all of us specific pieces of Himself…and I think the storytelling thing is the piece I got. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

      You most definitely got the storytelling thing, Melissa. Most definitely.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. September 5, 2012, 11:01 am   /  Reply

    So many reasons! I write because I like to tell stories. I write because I want to inspire and encourage people who are struggling. And . . . I write because I love to play with words ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:53 pm   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚
      Sometimes I can get lost playing with the words …
      You?

  11. Patti Mallett
    September 5, 2012, 11:38 am   /  Reply

    Just because. That’s why I write. (And I know you all get that.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Beth – what fun times you have ahead. Wow!!! Lucky you, and the rest of the folks who will be attending the conference. May you ENJOY every drop!!!

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:53 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you for always encouraging me, Patti. Look forward to meeting you face to face one day SOON.

  12. September 5, 2012, 6:55 pm   /  Reply

    I so relate to all these comments!!!
    SO true, all of them.

    Why do *I* write?
    This may be lame/flaky/West Coast-y…but…
    Because The Story came to me.
    If I don’t tell it, who will?

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:54 pm   /  Reply

      Jennifer …
      I get it.
      I do. I do.
      Tell your story. Can’t wait to hear it.

  13. September 5, 2012, 8:59 pm   /  Reply

    I write…
    for the fun of it…for the challenge…for the excuse to play make-believe…to understand…to entertain…for the surprises along the way…for the neat stuff learned about random things…for the polishing…for the interesting people met…mostly–to find out how the story turns out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:54 pm   /  Reply

      Ah … “the excuse to play make believe …”
      Wonderful reason to write.

  14. September 6, 2012, 12:18 am   /  Reply

    When I don’t write, I feel irritable and afraid. Crazy, huh? Have a great time on your writing travels.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:54 pm   /  Reply

      Not crazy at all, Kim. Not at all.

  15. September 6, 2012, 9:10 am   /  Reply

    Wow, is it really 11 days away?! I think I just had a mini-panic attack…lots to do before then. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see you, Beth! (and then again a couple weeks later in Monterrey!)

    • Beth Vogt
      September 6, 2012, 12:55 pm   /  Reply

      I know, I know, Sarah!

  16. Bernadette DesChamps
    September 6, 2012, 10:18 am   /  Reply

    I write because I see life as story, breeze as poem.
    Tragedy, comedy, wee tale, grand epic.
    Eyes close and I breathe…and long to paint with words what heart and spirit sees.

    I write because the Lord breathes new life into me everyday and I need to share the air…precious truths, spacious places of rest, grace that heals. My cup runneth over…and finds home on lined canvas.

    And until recently I hadn’t dared to dream that I could be a painter.

    • Bernadette DesChamps
      September 6, 2012, 3:47 pm   /  Reply

      And I just blogged about all that. Thanks Beth! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. September 6, 2012, 9:43 pm   /  Reply

    I just love it! It helps me to step outside of myself and all the day-to-day chaos and just dream. It’s also a time when I feel so surrendered and in-tune with what God is saying to me. It is the best way to spend time alone!

    Love this quote today, Beth! As always!

  18. November 14, 2012, 6:17 am   /  Reply

    […] In Other Words […]

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