Writing Exercise – Why do you write?

Girl looking to the side, thinking.
Photo by sean Kong on Unsplash

One of the first assignments I’d give as a writing teacher would be to have my students write a journal entry on why they want to be a writer. I encourage you to do this now.

Remember back to when you first wanted to be a writer before you took writing classes and joined critique groups. I want you to go all the way back to the time when you loved to write. When you put writing before your homework or chores. Back before your inner editor knew what was going on. Remember the excitement and joy you felt. Let yourself feel it again.

Now, write about it. Explore those feelings. Write about how you felt and why you decided to be a writer. Why you thought you could do this. Remember your bravery and your belief in your own greatness.

Keep this and revisit it when you get to the point where writing is number twenty on your to-do list and your inner editor has you scared to open your computer.

Because what happens over time is that we fill ourselves up with other responsibilities, other hobbies. We get tired. We’ve read so many craft books that our inner editor is on overdrive hacking away at every word we think up.

Every now an then we need to go back to our original writer-self. Put away all the worries and directions and let the writing freely flow out of us. Be a kid again.

Everything we’ve learned is still there. You haven’t unlearned all your growth. We just need to get out of our way, put the inner editor on mute, and find the passion again.

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