Motivations for Writing
by Ron Kurtus (updated 25 June 2023)
There are various reasons or motivations you may have for putting your thoughts, ideas, feelings or stories in writing.
One reason is to simply provide for self-expression. Another reason is to express your work to others, so that they will read it and perhaps give you some recognition.
Finally, you may want to get paid for your work and to gain credibility as a talented writer who has something to say.
Questions you may have include:
- What type of writing is mainly for self-expression?
- What writing is for expression and recognition?
- How do you get rewarded for your writing?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Self-expression is one motivation you may have for writing. Many people like to express their thoughts and ideas in the form of writing. This type of self-expression can be a form of catharsis that reduces stress and worries.
Writing your personal diary or journal can be a way to express your thoughts and feelings. Communicating with friends via email or letters is also a form of self-expression.
You may even write stories or essays for your own satisfaction or to show to some close friends.
Expression and recognition
The next level of writing is motivated by a desire to not only express your knowledge, thoughts or stories in writing, but it is also to allow many other people read that material.
Millions express their opinions and experience on blogs or web-logs. Although some blogs on political subjects are used as viable commentary, most of this type of personal publishing consists of snippets of experience and thoughts. The fact that many other people may read your blog and even respond to you about it, can give you satisfaction of having your writing recognized.
You may even go behind writing down random thoughts in a blog and set up a full website that includes essays, articles, poetry or stories you have written. While a blog or comments on a forum can be poorly written, essays on your own website need to have structure and be well-written. Not only are you expressing yourself in writing, you are also hoping to inform or entertain through excellent composition. You are separating yourself from the pack and establishing yourself as a writer.
You can also submit your essay, poetry or story to a number of websites that post the work of writers. This can give you more credibility than the same material on your own website.
Credibility and money
The highest motivation for writing is to not only express yourself and get some recognition, but to gain recognition and credibility as an author on a greater level that also includes getting paid for what you write. Getting paid for your work is the ultimate compliment and means what you have to say has value.
There are a number of ways to sell your writing.
You can submit your articles or stories to periodic magazines and not only see your name in print but also get paid for your work. It also gives you great credibility as a writer.
You can write a book and convince a publisher to publish it. Having your book published by a name publisher and placed in top bookstores can give you a real name. Some writers can make a lot of money from their books, if they become best-sellers.
You might even write a screenplay or television script to sell to a producer.
The big problem is that it is often difficult to get your work published, even if it is good. Publishing is a big business.
You can sell subscriptions to people interested in their writing. This can be done with hardcopy newsletters that you publish, but it is more often as e-zines or email magazines.
Instead of a subscription, you could gather your material into a larger piece and sell it as an e-book or hardcopy book.
At this point, you have turned your writing into a business. You are now a professional writer and not just someone who wants to write and hopes people will read.
One reason or motivation you may have for putting your thoughts, ideas, feelings or stories in writing is to simply provide for self-expression. Another reason is to express your work to others, so that they will give you some recognition. Finally, you may want to get paid for your work and to gain credibility as a talented writer who has something to say.
Write your best
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Motivations for Writing