Note: This is a guest post provided by Emily Suess. If you aren’t already following Emily’s blog, you should definitely start now.
As a professional writer, I’ve covered some pretty random topics—Jewish funeral practices, potty training, alternative medicine, and home remodeling just to name a few. Without the promise of pay, it’s unlikely I’d ever take the time to write about any of those things, let alone all of them. But keeping the lights on and the fridge stocked is important. Plus, every once in a while a girl needs a new pair of absurdly priced running shoes.
Beyond the paycheck though, there are still plenty of reasons for me to write. Writing is my profession, but it’s also my passion.
I write to learn.
When I write about anything, I’m simultaneously processing and analyzing new information. I’m forming and reforming my opinions. I’m committing information to memory. If I’m considered an expert on a topic, it’s because I write about it.
I write to connect with other people.
Not to completely disparage my upbringing, but I grew up in a small-minded small town that was about as diverse as a pond full of 7,217 goldfish. Through my writing (and blogging specifically) I’ve discovered there are literally millions of people out there who don’t spontaneously combust upon hearing that someone else is Buddhist or Catholic or vegetarian or college-educated or Asian or in support of Planned Parenthood.
I write to vent.
Yeah, I’m one of those women who went there; I blogged about my divorce. My marriage was a hideous thing circa 2008, and writing down the truth of what was happening to me sated my desire to be colossally destructive and vindictive. You know why my ex’s truck didn’t have the word “cheater” spray painted on the hood? Because I wrote. You know why all the cars in the parking lot where we attended college weren’t sporting 8 ½” x 11″ flyers with his picture and the words “Have you seen this man’s wedding ring?” Yep. Because I wrote.
I write for validation.
I confess I have no intrinsic parental drive. I feel like my own words are an acceptable substitute for descendants as far as contributing to my personal legacy is concerned. But more than that, being published—whether as a guest author or a paid contributor—means that other people find my work valuable or meaningful in some way. I love that.
I write so I don’t have to talk.
Finally, I’m an introvert. More specifically, I’m an INFJ—you know, if you’re into that Myers-Briggs stuff like I am. Writing is my way of participating in the external world without becoming too much a part of it. Of course I talk to people when I need to, and I’ve never been particularly terrified of public speaking. But I am more confident that people will understand what I think and how I feel about something if they read what I’ve written.
In short, I write to grow, express, create and learn. I write to feel safe and know my own strength. I write to thrive.
Author Bio: Emily Suess is a freelance writer in Indianapolis, a regular contributor at Small Business Bonfire, and a 10k runner in training. She blogs at Suess’s Pieces, home of the 2012 Brave Little Blogger Contest.