Over the last six years, I have had spurts of writing. I might write for a couple of weeks and eventually I stop. There are a host of reasons for this but one constant is I feel I’m shouting into the void. No matter what any artist or craftsman tells you, they want someone to appreciate their work. It may not be the motivating factor but it’s always there.
I’m not looking for fame and fortune. I write because it helps me process my ideas. It gives me clarity. But I also want to know that the things I write make a difference. Maybe I encourage someone to try something new. Perhaps I bring a smile to their face. I don’t want my words to collect dust on a shelf somewhere. I want people to interact with them; to tell me I’m off my rocker if they think so.
Jeff Goin (@jeffgoins) in The Writer’s Manifesto echoes some of the same things I have been working through. “Writers don’t write to get published. They write for the love of writing.” He goes on to say that the less we care about accolades the more people we will impact. I agree but with an asterisk. As a writer, I believe these statements are true. You can spot the person who is posting just to get page clicks and those who have thought about their craft. The one going for attention is most often ignored, while the thoughtful creative is the one more often quoted and cited. But I believe that creating is a two-way street. It’s not art unless it’s appreciated by a second party. I can write all I want, but if there is not someone to appreciate my writing then I’m just involved in self-development.
The desire to create is universal regardless of culture, religion and worldview. It seems that this desire is born within us. Some hold the desire to create is happenstance that has continued through the millennia. I hold another viewpoint. I believe we all have the desire to create and appreciate art because we were created by the Master Artist. I believe that there is one God that created the physical world and all the beauty we admire. His creation is for us to appreciate. I contend because we are created in God’s image, we bear his mark and have inherited his desire to create and enjoy beauty.
I write and create because it’s a stress relief and it helps me organize my thoughts. Because I bear the mark of a greater artist, like him, I desire for work to be enjoyed.
So what do you think? What are your motives for creating?