Why Do I Write? With Rick R. Reed #dreamer

August 12, 2015
Rick R. Reed

Me in a philosophical mood on the Oregon coast.

Today, I’m in a philosophical mood and asking myself a deep question: why do I write? I mean, it’s something I don’t have to do, right?

But perhaps asking that latter question gets to the root of things. Maybe I do have to write. Maybe I can’t help myself. When I asked that question, I tried to think of other things I had to do every day and came up with things like brushing my teeth, taking the handful of pills every day that keep me healthy and possibly alive, sleeping enough, eating right. Those things all keep me balanced and on the right path. I could choose not to do them, but why, when I would be harming myself?

I think I could make the same conclusion about writing, about living for a while in an imaginary world. Maybe I do have to do that, because if I didn’t, I’d be harming myself.

Consider: I’ve been making up stories since I was about six years old. And perhaps, if I’d had a different childhood, one that kept me free from bullying, incessant teasing, and loneliness, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. Writing filled a void…it still does. It gives me control over at least a world in my imagination, often when any control of the real world seems increasingly out of my grasp. Writing, like reading, allows me an escape.

For those of you who might have thought the answer to this self-posed question might be something like fame or fortune, I really have to scoff at that answer. For one, although I’ve achieved a small measure of success, those things still elude me. And they eluded me before I’d had a single word published. Yet, I wrote and wrote and wrote…even when there was no promise of financial or public reward. Why? It’s work. It’s hard. It’s lonely.

Because I’m compelled to. Because I need to. Even if I had never seen a story or book published, I believe I would still be writing. It’s my safety release valve. It’s my gift to myself, even if I can find about a million things to procrastinate about before getting down to business. It’s my gift (or curse?) from a higher power. I honestly believe there’s a thin line between creativity and insanity…and perhaps it’s the writing, the telling of stories, that keeps me just a hair on the side of creativity.

In closing, I offer you a few word from a woman who I think also had to write, Pearl S. Buck:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

Rick R. Reed Biography
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction.  Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Find him at:

Dinner at Fiorello's400x600

Rick’s latest book is Dinner at Fiorello’s (where love is on the menu). Buy it at the Dreamspinner Press site in ebook or paperback. Or at Amazon.


82 Responses to “Why Do I Write? With Rick R. Reed #dreamer”

  1. Lloyd Meeker says:

    Pearl S. Buck was right. I agree that *not* writing would be harmful to me. Now the promo I could do without… lol!

  2. Pat Henshaw says:

    You sum it up well. I have two “writing” friends who talk about the books they are “working on,” but who seem to do nothing but talk and ask for advice. In this business, there is no advice except write.

    I can’t imagine getting up in the morning and going through one day not writing, and I imagine you are the same–which is why I enjoy reading your books so much.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us who want to be you when we grow up.

  3. Roland Nelson says:

    It seems to me there is a distinct difference between writing and the business of writing. Like you, I started writing at a very young age, and along the way received some encouragement and positive responses from the few who read what I wrote that kept me going. Publishing was always a goal, but in the decades I spent writing (at least 6 complete unpublished novels, a host of stories and articles, poems), and even having an agent with access to the right editors (supposedly), the business of writing didn’t really connect until very recently. And over those decades, I came to understand, as you do, that the writing itself is what really matters. It provides a remarkable private feeling of accomplishment, and connection to those who have written before us or now with us, people we may never know or never meet, except through their writing. Because we are writers, when we read what has been written before, we instinctively sense what that writer may have gone through as a writer to put those words down. It may, in fact, be our own process we see in the mirror, but it provides a connection, a link that the general reader may not recognize or feel.

    What amazes me is that even during those times when, for whatever reasons, I am not able to actually sit down and write, the process stays with me. I feel like I am writing all the time, in one way or another, even when I’m away from the typewriter/computer. It affects how I look at those around me, and how I interact with them. Eventually, it actually forces me to push the other things aside and sit down and write it out. And then rewrite and rewrite and write again. I can’t stop that, nor do I want to.

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