Why do you do what you do?

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Early on in grade school we learned the importance of the 5 W’s and how to apply them in our story telling. Twenty years later and I still use a 5 W’s quick outline for all of my stories. I find it helps me focus when I get lost in the chaos of a novel.

I am sitting here listening to the torrential rain pummel my house and beat up my herb garden, I find myself asking a multitude of questions starting with Why? 

Why do I keep leaving my posts until the last minute, where unforeseen circumstances always threaten to delay my words?

Why do I torture myself on a weekly basis trying to come up with a topic to type out in the hopes that someone will like what I have to say?

Why didn’t I think to write that character’s point of view in a time line sequence instead of a diary?

Why do I think I can write something different enough that somebody will give two cents to what I have to say?

Then finally the big one, Why do I write?

These are the questions that have been rolling around in the back (front, side, other lobes) of my head all day.

That last question had me going back mentally in time to a post that Charli did a few weeks (months?) ago that I loved. As a writer we are always having to think about and figure out our branding. Almost as though we have to pimp out our words in the hopes that someone will like us enough to get noticed one day.

Maybe thinking of it as pimping out is a bad choice of words.

See! Branding is stressful, now I will be known as the writer who considers what she does as pimping.

Branding is a big part of what we have to do, being a writer is not just about writing. (Ha, that is what Amanda just said in her last post!) One thinks that writing is the perfect career choice for a hermit/recluse. And that is still the case… as long as you do not care if anyone reads your work. As in ever.

A writer has to not only imagine the story, write the words, edit the words, re-edit the words, but then sale the words. By doing so, one must brand themselves.

Seems easy. Let’s see how I do…

Who am I? AJ Prince, a writer

What am I? Human… Ha! ok seriously, What do I write? Realistic fiction, contemporary fiction, family; YA (Young Adult)/NA (New Adult)

When do I write? Always, when I am not physically writing, I am thinking about writing/ story lines/ plot lines. Or When did I become a writer? When I learned to spell. 🙂

Where do I write? In the U.S., but never at a desk.

Why do I write? ………………………………….

No one wants to hear “Because I have to.” or “Because the voices talk to me.” or “It’s just a part of who I am.”, because yeah, you and every other writer in the world. To answer the Why, you need to dig deeper than that. Remember, you are branding yourself, trying to stand out in the pool of words/authors.

You have to think of the Why as in a motivation term. Why is your story any different from the next person’s? Why should I spend my time/money reading your book? Why are you special?

So why do I write? Because I have something to say. In this infinite sea of writers, I am the only me and the only person who can tell my characters stories the way that they need to be told. They are as real to me as you are to me, maybe more so because I can see what they look like in my head where as I only know what a handful of you look like on the other side of this screen.

Now here’s the hard question, Why do YOU write? If you aren’t a writer, why do you do what you do? Let me know in the comments below.  

Till next time,

AJP

start-with-why

15 responses to “Why do you do what you do?

  1. Why do we put off writing our post until the last minute? Because we are writers and twisted ones at that. 😉 Nice post – Those questions are all good ones 🙂

  2. Ha! What’s with this “we” stuff. I write my post days, and even a week, in advance. Don’t go grouping me along with you slackers.
    And why do I write? Because you guys make me do it! I don’t really want to. It gives me headaches.

    • Oh don’t go bragging about your preparational skills when it comes to blogging, it’s not polite!!
      That’s right, and don’t you forget it! Now go write! Now dang it! I’ve got Ibuprofen if you need any.

    • Ha! We have nothing to do with it. You having to write is all because of your lovely wife. She’d hurt you if you didn’t. 😉

  3. Why do I write? Because if I don’t I’ll be overwhelmed and take everything out on those around me. It’s cheap therapy. And also, because I want people to hear me. For a very long time I didn’t feel as if what I had to say was worthwhile and that no one cared if I had a voice. Writing gives me a voice, and I’ve found that there are people who care and want to hear what I have to say.

  4. This is fabulous! You had me giggling at pimping words. But I won’t go as far as seeing your byline in hot-pink fishnet stockings. 😀 You did good to connect “why write” to a deeper answer. You’re so right — we writers do tend to only scratch the surface in that answer. It’s also the depth we need to follow into our stories. Scratching the surface, answering “because I have to” is like writing in cliche. Good work, here AJ! And I hope you are safe and drying out. The herbs will grow back hearty.

    • Umm….hot-pink fishnet stockings…? Where…um..where is this?

    • Thanks! I aim to cause giggling! The Why seems to be a difficult question, then add to it, use the why to make people care and we are in a whole new playing field. The “I have to” has never worked for me, I don’t “have” to. In fact, some days it’s easy to just not. But I “want” to, because if not, no one will get to meet the people in my head. And they are excellent people.

      Oh we are in the middle of another down pour as I type. My poor basil plant had all of the dirt rained out of its pot, it’s exposed roots were just a sad sight!

  5. Great post, AJ! But no one told me there would be a quiz when we started the blog. Can I use my express pass and not answer this time? 😉

    • Thanks Amanda! Hey you know me, I like to keep everyone on there toes, a quiz was needed! You can use the express pass this time, but I’ve got my eye on you come next time. 🙂

  6. Haha! “unforeseen circumstances always threaten to delay my word…” Yup. Also, the “I have to”, “I need to”, “It’s who I am”…those are my answers to my “why”. About a year ago I got tagged on a Why I Write blog hop and that’s pretty much what I said. And it’s boring. And it’s true. There are other reasons, of course, but I to need to dig even deeper. I loved that post by Charli, too. All of her branding posts are great.
    This is fantastic: “In this infinite sea of writers, I am the only me and the only person who can tell my characters stories the way that they need to be told.”

    • Dig deep Sarah. Give me your Why! (Haha I find telling you to dig deep to be amusing, you’re a much deeper person than myself.) I’m glad you liked that last bit, that’s my way to the top; read my books… Because I know these characters and they’re great… Think it’ll work?

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