I Write, Because I Want To

I Write, Because I Want ToWhy Do I Write?

There are many reasons to want to write, but for me, making a fortune, achieving fame, being awarded glittering prizes or even just being recognised as a half decent author are not my reasons.

In fact, and you can believe it or not, I’m not even that concerned about book sales.

I write because I want to, and find immense pleasure in taking the weird, whacky, happy and sad thoughts from my mind and setting them down in a text.

If someone likes it, that’s great. And if they don’t, well there are always other books to read.

Now, this is not to say that I’m not pleased when my books or ebooks sell, the contrary in fact, but it’s not the main aim in my mind. As an author who has been self-publishing for a very long time – from way back in the days long before ebooks and social media were words that had even been invented – I have always had the motivation to write because it’s personally rewarding and a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Writing is not about greed.

I make this point because I see so many authors now entering the self-publishing scene who seem driven by the strangest of motivations.

Greed being one obvious one and I have news for these people. Go rob a bank. It’s a much faster way to make a buck than spending all that time writing, re-writing, editing, proofreading, re-reading and then working on all the time-consuming marketing needed in trying to sell a million ebooks.

The other new entrants are the competitive authors, who seem to think that criticising other authors is the way to attract attention and rise to the top.

Well, here again, I have news for these people. It’s an utter waste of time and a great way to make yourself look like a real jerk.

Writing is and always has been a non-competitive business, so if you feel the need to be competitive and ‘slag off’ your fellow writers, go into a real business like bidding for government contracts and have fun in the dog eat dog world of real competitive commerce.

Then there are the nouveaux experts.

This is a new breed that I’m just coming to grips with. These are the authors, editors, proofreaders and small publishers who have been in the self-publishing business for a few weeks and think they know absolutely everything about anything there is to know about everything and are willing to share (read perhaps shove down your throat) their recently acquired knowledge with everyone and anyone.

Some even have the audacity to want to charge you for the privilege. Nice work if you can get it.

I write because I’m a writer and I don’t need to waste my time arguing my case on forums populated by latter-day know it alls or posting a minute by minute update of the progress of my WIP on Facebook.

I don’t even feel the need to tell Twitter what my current writing project is about. And who on Google+ would be interested anyway?

No, I don’t need to do anything except write.

But yes, when it’s time for me to self-publish a new book in ebook and paperback, I’ll make a little noise about it, but in the end, I’m sure interested readers will find it by themselves when they’re ready anyway.

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

One thought on “I Write, Because I Want To

  • This is the best advice I have read. You read so many articles on pushing yourself in promoting your book. Most of the mail from writers about their next week’s project and Facebook postings I read doing the same are tedious and boring. I end up deleting them. I write for similar reasons described in this article.


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