What compels writers to write?

I watched the interview last night on ABC with Jennifer Byrne and JK Rowling about Rowling’s latest novel; The Casual Vacancy.

Interestingly, Rowling said the main reason writers write is to have a conversation with readers. She admitted that her writing has been therapeutic for her during difficult periods of her life. It gave her something positive to focus on but said writers ultimately kid themselves that they are writing for themselves. After all, many people would ask why she’s still writing after the huge success with Harry Potter? The more appropriate question, for her, is why did she still want to publish? She had a personal need to write but financially didn’t need to publish any more books. Ultimately, she wanted to connect with readers.

Or is the compulsion to write, as Jules Kane’s brain studies revealed, because writers have an overactive right brain hemisphere?

Writers, I’m interested to know what you think. Any experts of neuroscience and writing, writing for therapy or the psychology of writing out there with an opinion?

3 thoughts on “What compels writers to write?

    • Thanks for your comments Jeyna and Aspen.

      I write for myself because I’m compelled to but I guess ultimately I want others to read it, well some of it at least. I want them to read it because I want them to see the world through new eyes, from a new perspective in the hope it may help or inspire them. I find that allowing others to read my fiction work, something intensely personal, very confronting and puts me in a paradoxical position of of being both vulnerable and free. I just had the experience of being critiqued by a class of writers for my Masters and found it extremely difficult but at the same time hugely helpful.

      All the best with your writing 🙂

      Tina

      Like

  1. I totally agree with Rowling! “The main reason writers write is to have a conversation with readers. She admitted that her writing has been therapeutic for her during difficult periods of her life.” This has been so true for me too…and is still the reason I will write and share my writing. I love hearing what others think…opening up a dialogue with a common ground.

    That’s what I love so much about Harry Potter…it gives us a common ground to start talking. 🙂

    ~Aspen

    Like

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