Why Be a Writer?

Enid Bagnold bio on Wikipedia

I find it helpful to look at the lives of other writers. I like to find authors that lead me to think: Well he/she did that; I can, too. I also look because I am a writer, and therefore nosy about people. Enid Bagnold, the author of the above quote, also authored the classic stories National Velvet and The Chalk Garden, among many other novels, plays, and short stories. She must have been quite the strong heart, as she was a nurse in the Great War. She was fired because she wrote articles for the newspaper critical of the hospital administration. Then she went to France and served as driver of some sort. Can you imagine what a woman? She wrote throughout her life.

Some time around ten years ago, I began to get tired of the writing life. I got burned out with constant deadlines and striving for success. And then I got distracted by grandchildren and husband’s retirement and desires for travel and fun all day long. I thought I would give up writing. I thought I could.

I discovered that I could not.  I continued to write here on the blog and on Facebook and letters to friends. I continued to compose great essays and stories in my head and wrote pages and pages daily in my journal. You see, a writer writes. It is not all about publishing. Writing is a way of making sense of this crazy world, and of our place in it.

Author Barbara Meyers recently wrote a thought-provoking essay on her blog that spoke loudly to me. She questioned why she kept writing, as she has not achieved the success she hoped at the endeavor. I so identified with her, and so urge her to keep writing. We need her writing, her honesty and openness to show the rest of us the way.

I’ve been wondering about where I’m going with my writing for the past few years. I likely would not have thought of publishing a book, if my husband had not died. Now I look at what to do with my life. Grandson is growing up, and I’m better at avoiding housework than doing it. As one of my writer friends has said, “We’re not the quilting club types.” I’m not any sort of club type. The only thing that holds my interest and has for all my life is reading and writing. I believe that shows what I’m cut out for, and like Barbara, I’ve prayed on this and repeatedly am led to writing. (Yes, God talks to me every day, thank goodness!)

I’ve worked to get back-listed books edited and republished, and actually I enjoy that process. I’m self-taught at Photoshop, and oh, how I enjoy my creations! But I am hopeless at any type of marketing. I make very little money. Actually, I go in the hole. I think I’m coming to terms with that. And not worrying about ‘success’ as the publishing world sees it is very freeing. I set myself to simply write what is put before my mind and heart to write. I commit my way to God, and I am led.

The writing leads me to interesting places within and without. I meet such fascinating, and kind, people. The most interesting place I’m finding with my writing is peace within myself. Writing really is the answer to everything.


8 thoughts on “Why Be a Writer?

  1. CurtissAnn, Your post reminds me of the things I used to say after my first book was published. Maybe only one person was meant to read it. Maybe there was a message in it just for them and for no one else. I never sought fame or fortune with writing and it’s still inconceivable to me that that could ever happen. Breaking even, though? I wouldn’t mind that! You’re a lovely writer. I’m glad you keep on keepin’ on. 🙂 Hugs.

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  2. Please keep writing! I stumbled upon Driving Lessons several years ago and fell in love with your writing immediately. I often read books and pass them along to someone else but I couldn’t bring myself to give away your books (I have loaned a couple to friends with the condition that they’d be returned). When I saw on your website that you had celiac disease and were taking a break from writing, I prayed for your health. Every so often I would search online for updates and was excited to find your blog a while ago. I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. And I’m impressed with how you’ve taken up camping-even on your own. My husband & I like to take trips with our RV and I hope to run into you sometime.
    Anyway-sorry to go on and on but I’ve wanted to write to you for a while.
    I find you inspiring as a person and have enjoyed all of your books. I truly hope there will be more!!


  3. What do I keep telling you? Your words make my heart sing (and laugh and occasionally even shed a tear or two). Makes no difference if they are in a blog, a book, an essay, a letter or a post on FB. You never cease to grab my attention and hold on! Thank you CurtissAnn for speaking to me at just the right time, in just the right way-just when I need it the most-I always know where to turn.

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  4. I can so relate. Writing and reading are the only”hobbies” that have ever held my interest and never made me bored. I like to create other things but I often tire of them quickly. Never do I tire of words!!! Writing is both creative and cathartic; it’s also a gift not given to everyone so even if you never find fame or fortune through it, it would be a shame to waste or put aside such a precious gift!! You are a talented writer; like Ms. Riley said above, I am so grateful for the gift of your books!!

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