Why I Write

It seems that I’ve written about a septillion essays titled “Why I Write”. It’s a common interview question. It’s something I’ve mulled over for years.

Why do I write?

purple pen

I’m going to be honest. It’s tempting, in the secret hyper-ego part of my brain, to write for the praise. To get those 5 star reviews. I’m telling you, a good review is a rush. Having someone say good things about my stories feels super good. Like chocolate and coffee and sunshine. And it’s very hard NOT to write for all of that.

It’s also tempting to write so that I win awards. So that my name is known throughout the world. So that Finkbeiner can be mispronounced by the greatest literary critics of our time. We all want to be known on some level. It’s very difficult to NOT write so that people will bow to my fame.

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Oh. And the money. Wait. No. There’s no money in writing unless your name is Stephen King. And that’s not my name. So. Yeah. The money is no motivation.

And, one more thing, I fight the urge to write for the sole purpose of publication. What? Seriously? Yes. Publication is necessary for me to continue writing as much as I do. It’s imperative that my work is published in order for people to read it. But publication isn’t the ultimate joy and rainbow unicorns that some assume. If writing is hard, publishing is 20 times more difficult/stressful/terrifying. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a published author. But if I never publish another novel, it won’t make me less of a person.


Why do I write?

Because I love stories. I love reading them and writing them and dreaming them. I love sharing them with others. I believe that story reaches a place within us that can’t be touched by numbers or hard facts. Story moves us, brings joy and hope and empathy.

I write because I really, really love people. And I want to encourage them. Help them. Show them a piece of the world…of me…of themselves.

I write because it’s how I figure life out. It’s how I pray. How I worship.

Because the stories don’t stop coming. If I tried to stop, I would be a woman haunted by fictional characters, begging to be brought to life on the page.

I write because words are pretty.

Because the world is full of ugly and beautiful and I want to show that any amount of light can displace darkness.

I write because God lets me.

All the other stuff is good and fine for other people. Publication. Fame. Awards. Money (still laughing that people think it’s gainful employment). But those things aren’t good enough for me.


I write for love. And as cheesy as that may sound, it works for me.

Why do you write? Or paint? Or strum a guitar? What is it that motivates you? 



8 Comments on “Why I Write

  1. Great post. I write because I love it too. And I write because it’s fun to co-write with God. He’s very clever and very creative. He gives me things I never would have thought to say before.


  2. Susie .. you wrote exactly WHY I love your books so much!

    “Because the world is full of ugly and beautiful and I want to show that any amount of light can displace darkness.”

    Your books – your writing show YOUR faith so clearly and it touches deep inside a soul. Never stop writing.


  3. Thanks for giving this newbee writer phrases that help verbalize the drive I find within myself. The phrase that my wife came up with is, “Writing is where the maintenance gets done.” (In CalSpeak, that’s “writing is where my head becomes less messed-up.”) Thanks, friend, for helping grow a new crop of unpaid, unfamous, unknown writers, who write because God asks us to.


  4. “I would be a woman haunted by fictional characters” I loved this, made me giggle and imagine all sorts of funny things. Olga poking you incessantly like a child saying, “Susie, Susie, Susie…”


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