Why write?


“Let your white page be ground, my print be seed, 

Growing to golden ears, that faith and hope shall feed.”

~ George MacDonald


Why write? Or pursue any other creative endeavor? I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve been reading a lovely book called Writing Motherhood: Tapping into Your Creativity as a Mother and a Writer by Lisa Garrigues. The author really is making my brain whirl with ways we can write from our everyday lives. While she specifically is focusing on mothers, I have found so many tidbits, quotes, and little ideas for general writing, especially as I get deeper into the book. As I thought of this question above, at first, I panicked. I felt a huge need to write beautifully about this and automatically felt this need to justify creativity. However, once I calmed down a bit, I realized, in my heart of hearts I knew why I write. So, here’s a small list that I’m thinking on and refining in my heart:

  1. I’m an Image Bearer of my Creator God, who loves me – my creativity is a small glimmer of His beauty and character. Of course, it’s not perfect like Him, but if it can reflect even a minuscule piece of Him, it’s worth it. I offer it back to Him as an act of worship, as something I love-to, have-to, and want-to do.
  2. I write to force myself to slow down and humbly notice the small beauty of life. Ultimately, this helps me cultivate gratitude. I mainly write with paper and ink, initially when working on a project. You have to go slow at that inky speed. It’s been a wonderful practice for me.
  3. I write to prayerfully encourage and inspire others in the same upward, outward direction. I want to bring our physical realities a little higher up till they touch the spiritual realm. Yes, we live here in this fallen world, but we are sojourners on a land not our own. I want to be deeply aware of this, but also realizing if we look closely enough we can find glimpses of our real life beyond piercing through here…

Have you thought through why you write or pursue your creative bent? I’m sure my reasons will shift a bit in different seasons, but this is a start.




2 thoughts on “Why write?

  1. What a great question, Amy! I would have to really think about why I write in order to give a complete answer to your question. But I also think about swing dancing — another art form that I practice — something I’ve done for many and varied reasons over the years. At times, I have done it for the art itself: the creativity that is required to dance a genre that has basic steps and learned moves but is otherwise completely improvised by the lead and follow dancing to the music. I love the creativity and the chance of joyful expression. Sometimes, I’ve gone to dance because it was my main social outlet. My main stress outlet. Sometimes I’ve danced as a type of therapy. Or a way to get my endorphins. Occasionally, I’d go with friends (usually ones I invited to try for the first time) but I usually just went on my own. It was something I felt very passionate about, enjoyed doing, loved sharing with others. It fulfilled the need to keep learning when I was no longer in school. To try something new. To teach myself, and to teach others. Sometimes I went because I’d gone the week before. (It was my default Friday night for years.) I danced because I loved interpreting the music (and such great music swing music is!). Because I loved connecting with my partner (varied dance partners through the evening). And I danced to give my partner an enjoyable dance. I’m pretty sure I could go on and on. (And on!) But the main reason I went dancing was simply because I loved it – there are few other things which allow me to feel the joy that dancing brings. As for writing, I’m not sure what I’d say. I think it’s one of those things I wouldn’t necessarily question without having something to stimulate that line of thinking (like this post!). I do know it has mainly been in hindsight that I’ve realized why I dance, and I suspect that my writing, too, has fulfilled different needs for me at different times in my life, and that I’ve also had different goals and objectives for it. And so for me, I guess the pertinent question I want to ask myself is “Why write NOW?” . . . and realize it doesn’t just have to just be in hindsight, but that it is constantly evolving, and that I get to CHOOSE why I write. Thank you for your wonderfully thought-provoking post! I loved reading your three reasons! I was also curious about what you meant when you wrote you felt the need at first to “justify creativity”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this, Heather! Thank you for such a interesting comparison and example. I think my “justify creativity” line comes from maybe occasionally I used to feel like I had to quantify my writing time vs. something else. Like I’m at home with my children and always have a lot to do, how can I be “wasting” time on my writing. I don’t believe that now, because I see it differently, but a lot of what is done in our modern culture is “suppose” to have a measurable return for your investment. In some ways, my choice to stay at home and be a mother is another thing that culture may try to pressure me to “justify” because I don’t make any money or etc etc. Ironically, I get the pressure sometimes, since I’m at home, “now don’t do anything else mentality” -focus solely on what’s in front of you. However, we all are special, individual PEOPLE that have alot to offer in MANY areas. This idea that whatever we are choosing to do in our life has to be explainable in terms of what our modern culture deems worthwhile or important. In some ways, I now am more confidant in marching to the beat of my own drum, and don’t care as much about cultures. But it does creep up occasionally, this defensiveness. I’m going to take time to keep beauty alive with writing or art or the art of full-time mothering and home making without being worried about others opinions. 🙂


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