Why do I write?












To paint a picture. A picture that gives real perspective. A perspective that goes beyond our Sunday best and drives us into the heart of others.

For the last several years, since I started taking this writing journey seriously, I’ve asked myself this question often.Whatever you may think the writing life looks like, you’re probably wrong. No disrespect. Just saying.

Writers stare at the screen and wrestle. We wrestle with words. With plots and characters. And we wrestle with self-doubt. Which is perhaps the greatest understatement of the century. Self-doubt sounds like something you find in a Disney movie. But what I’m talking about is the kind of crippling uncertainty that renders a person slightly unstable.

So why do it?

I’ve heard responses that are close to the mark. “I’m ruined to do anything else.” “I love to write so much I can’t not write.”

But I stumbled today on my reason. An epiphany of sorts. I’ve danced around the idea for a couple years but it hit me square between the eyes today.

David and I finished watching a movie this morning. End of Watch. I still have tears streaming down my face. A movie about two LAPD officers who are ambushed. One of the partners is killed. We watched the graphic portrayal of his end of watch. The scenes are heart wrenching and the cop sitting next to me kept saying, “That’s so real.”

You can take the man out of the uniform but you can’t take the uniform out of the man. We sat and watched pieces of our reality play out on screen. It was more than a movie. It was a realistic portrayal of the life of a cop.

So why do I write?

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My first novel, “Distressed” which releases soon, is a story about what a cop life can do to a marriage. To a family.

More than anything, I want the world to see. To see and smell and feel what it might be like to walk in another person’s reality. We have all been taught to walk a mile in another person’s shoes but how often do we actually take the time to do that?

What if you could read a book that put you in another person’s shoes? What if you could read a story and really see and feel the life of someone else? The characters and plot may not be reality but the emotion is. And it’s universal.

So why do I write?

I write to move people from their comfortable into the hurting world. Anyone can sympathize, or imagine what someone else might be feeling. But the well of humanity is much deeper than that.

Sympathy wipes a tear, but empathy embraces.

I write because I want to feel what others are feeling. And I write because I hope others want the same thing.


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8 Comments on "Why do I write?"

  1. Janet Hanson
    09/11/2013 at 3:54 pm Permalink

    Beautifully said! I was astounded to read this, as I had just read this: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1970/solzhenitsyn-lecture.html#.Un0Lr_7JbFU.facebook

    You and Solzhenitsyn–preach it!

  2. Rebecca Qualls
    09/11/2013 at 5:26 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Janet. And thank you for sharing the above link.
    “Who might succeed in impressing upon a bigoted, stubborn human creature the distant joy and grief of others, an understanding of dimensions and deceptions which he himself has never experienced? Propaganda, constraint, scientific proof – all are useless. But fortunately there does exist such a means in our world! That means is art. That means is literature.” Powerful!

  3. Robert Alan Rife
    10/11/2013 at 3:31 pm Permalink

    Rebecca…excellent. Just sayin’.

  4. Rebecca Qualls
    10/11/2013 at 3:37 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Robert. Much appreciated.

  5. Cathy Pagano
    12/11/2013 at 11:22 am Permalink

    Hooray for you!!!! Will look for it to buy. Love ya.

  6. Rebecca Qualls
    13/12/2013 at 8:14 am Permalink

    Thanks, Cathy!! Miss you guys!!

  7. Lin Wilder
    11/01/2014 at 5:00 pm Permalink

    So very cool to meet another writer in our little valley in the middle of nowhere, Nevada. Just ordered your book-should be here by Tuesday-bless Amazon.

    I had to smile when I read this post because one day not too many years ago after 30odd years of writing, I realized that yeah…I am a writer—why? Because writing is the only way to knowing what I think but mostly because we write because we cannot not write.
    Am looking for many more marathon conversations, hopefully occasionally lubricated by a glass or 3.

  8. Rebecca Qualls
    14/01/2014 at 2:26 pm Permalink

    Lin, I shall never underestimate the treasures to be found at a little boy’s birthday party in the middle of nowhere. 😉

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