I know this is not the right question to ask, but I am collecting some statistics about the reasons of writing in a modern world. There are all those gadgets, 5D virtual reality games and movies, you know.

And still, You have decided to write. There definitely must be a reason you made that choice.

So, the question is: why do you write?

  • 7
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about the craft of writing or asking for any kind of help with writing. It is an attempt to poll writers and I don't think this is within the scope of questions or advice about writing.
    – Amadeus
    Oct 17 '17 at 17:23
  • I don't know if this is NOT about writing... but it certainly is opinionated and not objective. Personally, I think this is an interesting question that might be worth leaving open. While it very likely is off topic, it's a valid question that I feel might be worth over looking for the sake of having a good discussion.
    – ggiaquin16
    Oct 17 '17 at 17:30
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    SV, if you reword this from a poll and maybe take out the opinionated element, this could be a really good question. Please try to reword this to better fit our format as I really would like to see the discussion spawned from this question.
    – ggiaquin16
    Oct 17 '17 at 17:36
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    I think you should ask about the merit of books, as they have quite a few when compared to other media. Oct 17 '17 at 18:40
  • I really like this question, but it is indeed, off topic. Maybe you should ask this on Reddit or Yahoo Answers? Oct 17 '17 at 19:57

This will sound cliché, but I'll still say it.

There's nothing quite like words. Humans like words. A lot.

Words (written or spoken) can express a wide array of emotions and meanings in very effective ways and, unlike other media formats, words can be very precise and make sure that whoever is on the recieving end will interpret the message in the way you meant it to be interpreted.

It could be argued that communication in any media not composed of words implies the sender transforming ideas into the media's unit of communication (eg.: images and movement for videos) and the reciever transforming them back into ideas. With words you can transmit ideas directly.

You can write ambiguous messages, obviously, and that's yet another strenght of the format.

The transition from spoken word to written word is very simple: we started writing so we could remember the words we used.

There's also a misconception on your question. You mentioned games and movies as opposed to writing, but someone has to write the movie's script and the game's story and code (the code might not seem to be writing, but I assure you as a coder that it is a language onto itself and a form of written communication).

Delving into technicalities, words are also technically cheaper (less bytes) than video, images or executable code.

If you still doubt all of this, just try imagining this answer being expressed without any kind of word.


Everything takes writing. Whether it is a video game, movie script, TV show, youtube channel, they all rely on good writing, a good story to captivate and keep their audience entertained.

As you stated, there are many mediums these days. One of which is ebooks. For the first time, someone can have thousands of books on one device at the tip of their fingers. Don't want to read the book yourself? Audio books! (there are also hacks you can do to have the book read to you even if it is not an audio book but that's for another discussion). So why write a book that goes on a shelf?

The respect for story telling. The appreciation of classical literature. The thought that one day, your story can be on the same shelf as your favorite author growing up. To be the next author that pioneers a new wave of inspired writers because of your story.

Many books also are turned into movies if they are a huge hit. Look at Game of Thrones, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, The notebook, 50 Shades of Grey, Chronicles of Narnia. All classic books written within recent history (yes I know with the exception of a couple), that have lead the way in novels and movies. Many more stories from the past that we read in schools also have a movie to go with it.

Speaking from personal experience here, I write using my macbook pro and with it their Word equivalent app called Pages. One of their sharing options is to download it as an Ebook(can also do PDF, word, and a couple other formats). It honestly gave me chills just seeing the book I was working on in an ebook format sitting there on my phone.

Why does anyone do anything when there are other ways, better ways, newer ways to do things? Because that is what drives them to go forward. Some people here have admitted to even writing their notes and drafts with pen and paper before going to the computer!

Sure, it is hard to make a living as a novelist. Most are lucky to even sell enough to write full time. It's not about money though, it's not about being hip and trendy. It's about telling a story in the way you want it told best and the appreciation and passion for it always shows.

Teachers, most of them are very smart individuals who have master degrees in their fields. Some, even PHDs. So why teach at a job that you are lucky to see at most 40,000 dollars a year when you can go work and make 150,000 or more? Because they love teaching and want to share the beauty of their field with the youth in hopes to inspire more minds.

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