Why We Write?


          I could become the next writing sensation. I could die in obscurity and, in two hundred years, someone will discover that, like van Gogh and William Blake, my artistic voice was ahead of its time. Or — and reality tells me this is the most likely option — I’ll just die, my voice unheard, my books unread, except by a few like-minded souls.

If I accept that the ultimate result of all the effort I put into my writing is out of my hands, can I now sit down and write easily, fired up by faith?”

                                                             – Judy Croome, Author of Dancing in the Shadows of love

In 2010, But Seriously… Why Do You Write worked for me.

But lately, i have been feeling stuck and sad. Even so, i have (by some miracle) managed to continue writing. But unlike last year (when i won two short story contests and attended two grand creative writing workshops), nothing spectacular has happened in my writing career this year. Well, I know that i have the blog award and a few stories accepted and published here and there, but…

And to think that i have never worked so hard on my writing as i have this year.

Am i expecting too much? Perhaps. But on the bright side, all my insecurities have pushed me to work harder. Sometimes, i am surprised that i am still writing. daily, i am faced with the realization that writing is more than just a catharsis; it  has grown to become my life’s purpose. and i cannot now begin to imagine a life without lots of books and writing pads and biros. In fact, when depression hits me, i find myself wandering from secondhand bookstore to bookstore, from book fare to book auction,  searching for books to buy. Why this is, i do not know? But i have found books to be my most exciting companions.

Anyway, i sought advise from established writers. I said, “since, i cannot afford to pay tuition to study for an MFA, will a diploma with the writers bureau be fine?”

And I got various responses. A Nigerian, award-winning writer  said, “Sure, if they (the tutors,, that is) are good.”
A US-based creative writing lecturer said, “It depends on what you want.”

And my dear friend Judy Croome took the time to write a beautiful, treatise on her blog. You can find the letter to a young Nigerian writer HERE. I recommend this letter to all budding writers.

I also did a lot of research and reading. I learned so much from some other posts on depression. See  Depression in Writers by Nicola Stretton and Why Am I Still Writing?

So why are you still writing? Please share your experiences on the comments page. Longer essays can be made guest’s posts. Email me on [email protected]

Thank you.

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes prose fiction and creative non-fiction. She is the founder of creativewritingnews.com. Her first novella, Finding Love Again was published by Ankara Press. Her second novella, The Heiress' Bodyguard was shortlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Awards. She currently works as content marketer for various online businesses. You can follow her at @cwritingnws.

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