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By Johannes Helmold

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becoming a writerMy coworker, who is a vocalist in a music band, has recently been interviewed for a magazine. When I asked her how it felt to be interviewed, she said that it was quite interesting, but confusing at the same time, mostly because of the questions asked by interviewers, like “Why did you choose to play music?”

This made me wonder why would a person want to become a writer. I asked some people—like my friends, relatives, and acquaintances—a simple question: “Why, in your opinion, do people become writers?” The answers amused me a lot, so I decided to share some of them with you. For this post, I chose both serious and ridiculous reasons.

So, in the opinion of people in my neighborhood, a person becomes a writer because:

You know, guys just want to be shown on TV, that’s why they become writers. I could write a book or two myself, but I’m not a kind of guy who wants fame, you know. I am a Christian, I am too humble to be a writer.”
– Harry, 42 y.o.

Chicks, man! Writers are famous, and women like famous guys!”
– Larsen, 25 y.o.

Writers have something inside. Some kind of trauma, or personal experience, or a bunch of unresolved problems… something disturbing, you know. And writing is a method to reveal and vanish these things, and find peace.”
– Janice, 26 y.o.

Money, of course. Money and fame.”
– Greg, 47 y.o.

I have no idea, and I don’t care! To me, all these writers, painters, and whoever else are just a bunch of parasites that live on the account of honest laboring people, honest taxpayers, honest Americans!”
– Henry, 61 y.o.

“I think a writer has something that he or she wants to share with the rest of the world, some kind of a new idea that can influence the hearts of people and make them think about their lives. I think, all kinds of art, including literature, exist solely for this purpose.”
– Lisa, 20 y.o.

“Writers … ugh… I don’t know, man, can’t you see I’m eating my burger?”
– Larry, 31 y.o.

“Writers? You mean these nerds? I don’t know, to me they are all creeps. Who else would even want to sit at home all day long and type words that nobody will read? None of my friends or me like to read. We party!”
– Alice, 20 y.o.

“You know, I write stories myself. I am not a writer, of course, it’s just my hobby. I like to invent characters, to make up events, resolve conflicts. It’s like making movies, but better, because the only tool that I need (and the only limit I have) is my mind.”
– Andrew, 26 y.o.

“All those who want to be writers should go to work!”
– Jason, 50 y.o.

“I think one cannot “become” a writer. It’s already within us. I bet everyone wrote poems in high school. Creativity is just in our nature—we just forget about it, buried under our daily burdens of adult life. I think there is no particular reason to become a writer; more likely, a person can find numerous reasons not to be one.”
– Helen, 16 y.o.

I’ve collected many more interesting answers; these are just some of them—I chose them randomly, though I tried to keep a balance between ridiculous and reasonable answers. Actually, I liked to do polls—maybe I’ll find an interesting topic and do another one. If you have any suggestions on the topic of the next hypothetical poll, you can post them in the comments.

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