Writing Tip — The Need to Write

laptopw-3187095_1280Some people like to write. Some love it. And some need it.

This was brought home to me when I read a quote about acting. You can read that quote on the International Movie Database under “Personal Quotes”. The actor who made it, William Schallert, obviously loved acting. He appeared in movies and TV shows as a supporting actor for decades, the kind of actor where you recognize the face but probably don’t know the name. His last screen credit was in 2014 when he was ninety-two.

While Mr. Schallert said a person shouldn’t pursue acting unless he needs it, I believe you can be a writer if you like it or love it. But when you need it to feel good about yourself, need it like you need food or sleep, you should take that need seriously.

I didn’t realize writing was a need until recently. I began writing in elementary school, and it became a regular habit in college. Once I had kids and a husband, I thought writing was a luxury, something I could reward myself with after I got all my family and household duties done.

Then my kids were old enough to attend school, and I could spend more time on writing and trying to get published And the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. Especially when I write fiction, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction, like when you’ve eaten a particularly good meal or put in a strenuous day of physical labor and have something to show for it. When other demands on my time force me to forgo writing, I begin to feel cramped, anxious, like an athlete who can’t exercise.

Now that I understand this need, I am structuring my day differently. I put my writing first. When I get a lot of writing accomplished, I am ready to tackle less pleasant tasks, such as grocery shopping, with more energy.

Do you feel the need to write? How do you satisfy it?

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