Tiny260 talks about writing and why authors do it.
Cover of The Lord of the Rings
Writing. It’s a form of expression that’s as old as time itself. Well okay, it’s admittedly not THAT old. You could argue that storytelling is much older than actually keeping stories in the written form, but that’s beside the point! My point is that writing things has been with us for centuries. Of those people that write, there are many that make timeless classics. Take C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien, for instance. If you want to get more recent, the works of Steven King and Dean Koontz are also really good (though that could just be personal taste talking). Although a question comes up as you look at all these people who make amazing novels:
Why do they write?
I guess the most obvious (and through extension, the most cynical) answer would be to make a lot of money, but I, being the optimistic soul I am, won’t refer to those authors that only write for money. After all, if you’re only in it to make a profit and not for a love of doing it, you’re not going to make anything worth reading anyway; All the creative spark will be gone. At least, that’s my personal opinion. I could be totally wrong (but if I do read an amazing story that the author is only doing for the money, I’ll be very impressed and slightly depressed).
Moving on though, back to the matter of hand. Why I personally think people write, and I think I have plenty of support to this theory, is that they love to write. And I know what you’re probably thinking right now: “Well duh, tiny260! Of COURSE people who write enjoy writing, I could gather that myself!” Well to you good sir/madam, I have to ask you to be patient with me and let me get to my point. To those of you who didn’t think that however, I would like to thank you personally for being so patient with me and ask if you could share that patience with these other people here (Don’t tell them I said this, but you guys are my favorite).
The point though. Sure, everyone who makes amazing works of literature loves to write, but they all have different reasons why they love writing. To give you an example of this, let’s look at C. S. Lewis again. I’m sure you guys know about the contest he had with Tolkien, right? For those of you who don’t know, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were good friends, and they had a contest with each other to see who could write a better book series about Christianity without outright saying it’s about Christianity. From that contest, we got The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. Say what you will about who won the contest (IT WAS TOLKIEN), but the writing of the Chronicles of Narnia could be taken as Lewis’ own personal debate with himself about the religion.
See, I’m not sure how many people actually know this, but C. S. Lewis was an atheist for a big chunk of his life. From the age of 15 he was, and I quote, “very angry with God for not existing”. Even while being converted to Christianity, he was jokingly reported to have been pulled into it, kicking and screaming (although in actuality he was still very resistant to it up to the moment he was officially converted).
The Chronicals of Narnia were written nearly two decades after he converted, yet even then it shows what he thinks of the religion. At the risk of offending Christians out there (seriously, don’t take this the wrong way, one of my best friends is one of you), he didn’t just blindly follow the word of God. He put deep thought into his own beliefs, and that thought is shown in his work. Some people could even say that writing these books was his own personal way of sorting through his thoughts and figuring out where he really stood and what he really thought about it all… okay, by “some people” I mean “me and maybe a few others out there that bother putting thought into this kind of thing”.
So, what was the point of that little history lesson I just gave you? The point was to show you that, yes, C. S. Lewis loved to write, but the reason he wanted to write this particular series was to sort out his own mind and maybe even give a message to people who read it. If you ask me, THAT’S why people write. It may be different for everyone, but everyone who was really into their work and made amazing works of literature wanted to write because they had something they wanted to say. Sure, they had a story they wanted to bring out to the public, but they also wanted to give a message, or sort through their own philosophical and religious understandings.
Well, that’s the way I see it, anyway.