Why do we write? Authors put hours and weeks and months into a project. They pound their head against walls, or sometimes against keyboards to see if any of the gibberish that results has merit.
And for what?
A few dollars, perhaps? A glowing review? Someone somewhere kinda knowing their name?
What is the actual point of all of this work and what makes it worthwhile?
If no one ever read your writing, would it still be worth writing?
Each author has their own priorities. Some want to make a living. Perhaps some want fame. Or to touch the lives of others.
It doesn’t matter what we want. No matter how much money, how many reviews, how many speaking engagements or testimonials we get, it’s never going to be enough. Something is always going to be missing that outside sources can never fill.
No matter our goals in writing, we ought to base our foundation on something deeper. Something worth the effort no matter the result.
The reason nothing can fully satisfy us is because we were created for something grander than just this world. Our spirits are built for eternity and mere, passing, mortal successes can never fill a spot meant for something that will never end.
Like life, writing is hard. Also like life, writing has its moments of joy. But if we focus merely on what it will bring us from the outside world, then nothing will ever be enough.
This doesn’t make writing worthless in any sense of the word. Rather it gives us opportunity.
Writing gives us a taste of eternity. We get to create. To explore and build something that never existed. To pour a little of that longing inside us onto the page and search the depths of hope, fear, and love.
The time we put into our work is worth it because the point of our writing is more than ourselves. We are pointing to a Creator who can satisfy us. We are looking to something beyond this world. We are learning truth about who we are, both through what we write and through the effort of writing. Not only that, we get to learn more about the world, the people, and the emotions surrounding us.
Whether we write, or paint, or manage a bunch of kids at a fast-food restaurant, our final goal must be beyond what we can get from the world around us, because the world will always let us down.
The foundational reasons for why we do what we do should come from Who God is and who we are in relation to Him. The goal is not simply writing. Or money. Or people. The goal is a matter of what we are pointing to with our lives and our work.
And what we are pointing to remains the same. Always. Even if no one recognizes it in this world. And if no one were to read your writing.
This is such a important topic, and written so well! I love the last two paragraphs in particular.
I have a Quote of the Month spot on my blog, may I quote you and feature them there?
Sure! If it’s not too late. 😛 Sorry. I missed this comment/question somehow.
(Two months later, and I find this again and only just noticed you replied XD)
Thank you! 😀 It’s not too late at all. 🙂
Very good. I know that for me I’m a better Christian when I write. I face fewer temptations or they just don’t feel strong. Crazy but for me, I look at it as a spiritual disciple.
I appreciate your perspective and wholeheartedly agree. I open my website with why I write and I really mean it. Take a look: Stepping into worlds for which I am the first to see, and meeting those who live there, is a joy unlike anything else I’ve experienced. As a writer, I attempt to share this joy with an invitation to others. Thanks to those who have accepted the invitation.
Why do I write? I am drawn to shining a light on the human condition…without judgment, light pierces the darkness and is freeing. It allows us to explore what it is to be human. Cutting of Harp Strings: a novel, my latest book, is all about living your truth. My fantasy series, The Elias Chronicles, asks the question we all think about, and that is – who am I? There is more to come.
My novel, Cutting of Harp Strings was published in December 2021– I started writing it in 1994. It brought me great joy over the years. Published by a small publisher, I am keeping my word to invite others to find that joy. For those who do, I feel they have — if the reviews mean anything. Even my high school Literature teacher read it and gave me a glowing review. I was humbled. Nevertheless, I must remind myself why I write. Thanks.