28 April 2010

Why Writers Write

I felt happy to read the comments of my gracious friends for my blog posts, some on the blog itself & some in my mail box. Thank you! I even checked the number of my profile views. 42! Ah good! Tell me, is that narcissistic?

Do writers write for others or themselves? Do they write because there’s something in their head or because they want to be read? What is the primary motivation– readers’ reactions OR our urge to write? Their encouragement in the form of positive feedback and words of appreciation OR our own judgment & drive to continue writing?

If I write, and not many or, let’s say no one reads, what does it mean? Does it mean my writing is wasted? Or it isn’t good enough? Or maybe I don’t have many friends? Three evil thoughts.The last thought feels better of the three. Strangely comforting! It’s like saying not having friends is not my problem, not writing well is. That’s why no one reads my blog. Aha! Relief!

A writer writes because he has something to say, to share. The words “say” & “share” presupposes that it’s being said “to” or shared “with” someone. That “someone” could be friends he knows or complete strangers. If and when someone reads &responds, {whether to agree or disagree, like or dislike}, it feels good. It feels like there was a live exchange of thoughts. Like in a real conversation.

When you talk to someone, you’d like that person to respond. Through words, gestures, eyes – any which way. But respond he must. Even if the response is ‘one tight slap’ MTV style – so be it. Otherwise, you’d rather move on & converse with another person instead.

So it is with writing. When what you write echoes in another human heart(or stomach or liver or pancreas or any other organ – koi bhi organ chalegabhai!!) it brings a smile to your face. Involuntarily.Deeply cherished.

So does that mean a writer will stop writing if no one reads? May be.Maybe not. The compulsion to write comes from within. You can’t preordain the time/day/age/medium. You don’t really know when & what & where you will write. You just write.
But yes the added motivation to go on tirelessly comes from without. From people who choose to read you. And from those who choose to react to what they read. It propels you. Sustains you. It’s like the drizzle that satiates you. And you can go on again. If the responses stop, perhaps the enthusiasm will eventually, slowly, very slowly ebb. Fizzle out gradually. Not overnight. The writer must be really weak-kneed to dry out too soon!

A writer writes first & foremost out of his own need to write. And then, feels glad, for the reactions that come his way. Whether the reaction he receives are good or bad, positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. Any reaction. As long as there is one!!


  1. It all seemed confusing...like erratic mixed thoughts...but whe i finally came to seedling and manure..I couldnt help laughing...actually I myself was just browsing throu without a clue or thought and at the thought of manure..I started imaginign you planting stuff and gardening and started laughing..see im wandering within my mind myself.

  2. sumne bereyavara tale tinnokke....nave a yochane inda tale hal madkollo badalu...bereyavara tale tinnokke...:)

  3. You're correct there.. it really is nice to get a response.. a positive one is of course the icing on the cake. But sometimes you need to write without an audience in mind.. to get something off your chest or to put things in perspective or even to be able to view things clearly. Writing sorts me out... sometimes.

  4. @Suzaan: me gardening...haha
    thanks for the feedback Suz :), will relook at it & try n see if i can make it less confusing

    @suraj: haha howdu..hangu irabahudu

    @OM: true sometimes it just has to roll off your chest & it feels cathartic

  5. I completely agree with you. The writer in a way is compelled from within to express, no matter whether someone reads or not. To be happy with hits and comments is a phase, every blogger passes through. However, in the end it is the self-satisfaction that matters. Writing is a constant effort to self-excel. Very well written post.

  6. @aativas: yes i have been thru that phase too. but now it doesnt rattle me so much. i feel satisfied just penning my thots
    thanks aativas for coming by n sharing ur views :)

  7. Absolutely. We write, because, that gives us happiness, irrespective of whether we receive comments or not.

  8. In my opinion writing is communicating with world.A writer try to make contact with world with his writing.No writer writes for himself and similarly singer will not sing for himself ,he/she needs audience to recognize and appreciate his talent.similarly ,the writer wants to share his thoughts,ideas,poetry,story and experiences with world in which he lives.As Aristotle Man is social animals.Every Man/women wants to be appreciated and valued in society for his contribution in any field.This is inherent nature of every man.

  9. @Ashwini: yes writing is definitely a satisfying exercise

    @Ravi: but will the singer stop singing just because there is no audience at all times?

  10. Hi! This is the first time I have visited your blog, let me tel you, I liked it!
    And, yes, I myself write first because I want to write, but then, I do love to have responses - its a great feeling when you know that someone somewhere read what you wrote and 'felt' something! Nice piece!

  11. @Writer: thank you so much. Yes, that's true, its gratifying when someone 'feels' something after they read what you write. thanx for coming over & posting.

  12. I can see that you have gone through the questions that I am currently going through, a year before and you have answered them nicely. There should be someone to "share with".

  13. @Hariharan: yes Sir, we seemed to think on the same lines though at different time intervals :)

  14. I have already read this post..Guess it was when I initially stumbled upon your post long time before..Now I have again come back to the initial posts to see how was your writing when you started..

    Don't mind,its coz from time to time I used to read my older posts and find them sometimes amateurish and after a while I realize how long I have come as a blogger to this day where I can write some readable stuff..(Today I had such moment when you commented on my older post.. :D..)

    Same way I thought of checking how you have honed the writing skills over the time.And to be honest,I don't see much difference.(I don't know whether its a complement or not..But that is what I honestly feel..)I mean you seem to write like a Pro from day one.(I am not saying this by reading couple of random older ones but first 5 to 6 of your first posts..)

    Only difference I felt is initial posts seems to be bit tentative as opposed to the surefooted-ness of your present write-ups.Guess you were more like in an experimental mode and the short length of the posts were as a result of that If I am not wrong.

    In another post I read your start of the career as a content writer,involvement in soft-skills training and top rank in M.A Literature.So this answers why you write like a pro from the start.. Good to know.. :)

    People say that the voice of the writer (which I interpret as an unique style of narrating and presenting things that forms as a result of continuous writing) is the key to make the readers glued to whatever one writes.I guess you seem to have it(this what I meant by being a Pro).I can not say which aspect makes the write-ups good but at the end of the day it has something,may be the simplicity and clarity.I don't know..

    Well,I am not sure what targets you have as a blogger but I think at this rate you should be a writing phenomenon in two years.If not you are not doing justice to what ever has been endowed upon you. This I am saying as an admirer(Others wise I don't know whether I will qualify to say any such thing :)) of the way you write.

    Hope you know how Preeti Shenoy became a writer.She was a blogger and when she composed best of her blog posts and published it as a book,it became an instant hit.In 3 years time she was one of the top best-selling writers.

    For me such examples proves an inspiration and I feel obliged to do something with my one&only gift or skill or whatever it can be called.We may not be a Preeti Shenoy given the commitments and duties we have but what is the harm in trying?..

    My opinion is on those lines..:).Best of luck..

    Regarding the post,

    The writer must be really weak-kneed to dry out too soon

    Heh-he..Tell me that..I have some friends who threaten me to stop blogging but yet there I am without ever bothering about what they say.. :P

  15. @Vishnu: wow! - for the time,interest & patience you took to write such a long, heart-felt response!
    thank you. for every word.

    yes, initial posts were tentative & hence short in length. The rest of my posts till date are strictly ONE full page (on a word doc). Not more, not less. I consciously kept that restriction of length.

    sometimes not bothering about others is a very good thing - case in point your blog :)
    keep writing

  16. I was expecting you might start this one from where you left off at Aakhir kyon! :) But you went straight into top gear. :)

    I totally agree. Writing takes you to a different place. It makes you feel strangely powerful. :) And as you correctly said, response or a reaction from others acts as a fuel which propels us to explore more depths in writing.

    On a completely different note, this post gave me some reason as to why you titled your blog: Conversations. Btw.. if I had not mentioned before: It is a beautiful name. )

    1. :)) no u hadn't mentioned before and so thanks for liking the title :)

      and about the post, you are a perfect example. your writing has found or will find its deserving readers in greater numbers sooner or later but the main thing is you need to keep at it and you are and that's one reason why you are a "writer" in the true sense of the word

    2. ohh.. :) thank you sooo much. This comment just made my day!

  17. A writer writes for himself? maybe true, but somewhere the readers are needed. for the appreciation, criticsm and motivation.

    BTW Sujatha, 42 views. You have surpassed this count and how!! This surely must be a great feeling :-)

    1. surely readers provide an impetus for writing. it's just that sometimes the urge to write, the push from within is so much that you just write, you cant help but write. what if i had stopped at 42 views thinking no one reads me! what if you had stopped initially when you started your blog! and in any case, to be very frank, there will come a day when no one will visit my blog and yet i will still write. i know it! but till that day, as the readers come, the joy comes too

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