1. I have to, I just can't not write.
2. I hope to make a living from it.
3. It's my ministry.
4. It's just a fun hobby.
5. It helps me think through things.
Maybe you've never actually thought about it, but why you write matters. It will likely define how much time you invest in writing, how attached you are to what you write, and the expectations you have from what you have written.
As a kid, I used to write for fun. I had a kiddy typewriter and used to pound out my version of Nancy Drew stories (didn't know about copyright laws back then). Then my dreams got bigger--too big actually. If you read about my embarrassingly ridiculous first two novels, you know my writing goals soared a little too high, and I had a big fall coming.
After that, I guess I balanced more into a realistic ideal about writing. I had much to learn, but I could use writing as a ministry. I never had any intention of making a living from it--that's nigh unto impossible if you're freelancing Christian articles anyway. The money I made helped our family in small, extra ways, but it could never be depended on.
That has changed some since Stolen Woman got released. Now, with e-books and regular speaking engagements, writing is actually becoming a part-time job with money coming in. Not the huge amount most people would probably assume, but enough to make it worth all the work certainly, and really, it was worth the work beforehand anyway because of the possible spiritual impact.
So why do I write now? Hard to say. Some days I write because I must--the story is itching to get out and I just have to write it. Other times, like if I'm writing on assignment, it's just plain work. Still other times it is more for ministry than anything else. But I will say that I love writing. I think it is so wonderful that I get to do what I love to do. A lot of people don't have that luxury, and I'm grateful for it.
Only 5% of authors can actually make a living off of writing. I don't know if I'll ever rise to fit within that 5%, but since I am a stay-at-home mom, I thankfully have the option of writing part-time and getting part-time amounts of money coming in.
Why do you write? Thinking through the answer to that question may help you define where your level of commitment to writing should be. Based on your answer, you might realize you are writing too often, or not often enough, or expecting more than you should, or needing to shoot for higher goals.
I'd love for you to post a comment below and share why you write!
Are Great Writers Born That Way (My First Novel--Cheesy!!!)
My Epic Failure of a Second Novel
Rejection--It's Not as Person as it Feels