"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." – Maya Angelou

Why on Earth do I Write? PART II

The story behind my stories – 8 Reasons why I write – Part II

Why do you write?

Why do you write? I would like to know.

Why do I write? It’s a long story. (Pun not intended, but it’s still true.)

I write to inspire and challenge my readers.

Oh, I write to entertain and inform them as well, but the need to challenge the status quo is stronger. I want my readers to think. For if we don’t, how can we ever grow or hope to change?

The short answer to why I write is because I love it; the longer answer is, as I write more, the compulsion and need to tell stories—my own and others’, becomes ever stronger.

Long, long ago in a small African village, there lived a little boy with blond hair (all true), who fell in love with reading—the writing came many, many years later.

We moved to Johannesburg when I started grade four and having three siblings much younger than myself, it enabled me to use their library cards. (Okay, it was a little selfish.) Over the next five years, I systematically read my way through most of the fiction-section of our city library. I was a wee little bookworm. Little did I realize how that habit would later play a formative role in my personal and writing life.

Here’s the thing: everybody has a story. I have, and you too. (Everybody on earth has a story—young and old, rich or poor.) Many of us struggle to get our story out, get it heard. Many of us are burdened by emotional wounds. We become “silent,” cropping it up inside. However, we can all learn to tell (and write) our stories. Storytelling changes lives.

We can learn how to let the caterpillar escape the cocoon and set the butterfly free!

Call to Action: How about you? What is preventing you from writing?

What is stopping you from telling your story? Everybody has a story—so do you. Let your story be heard! It doesn’t need to be a novel. Start with an essay, a short story or a poem.

We can help you get your story heard!

Next week: Why do I write? Read Part II!

This article is also published on

You can also find a FREE copy of my short story, Young Maxime here. (It is the prequel to my novel, Maxime.)

© 2018 All rights reserved.

Image by Danie Botha.

I don’t “need” a computer to write, only pen and paper—longhand works just fine. The medium is often not as crucial, it’s the writing itself that counts. (Even a napkin in a coffee shop works!)

I’m working hard on turning my writing into a full-time career.

8 More Reasons WHY I write:

(I elaborated in part I on the FIRST four reasons. In part II, we’ll spend time on the LAST four.)

1 | Because of the challenge. 

I love the process, the mastering of the craft, the “bleeding” on paper.

2 | To see and experience the joy of my readers.

To see and experience how readers enjoy and find value in my writing and stories.

3 | It teaches me to read with intention.

Writing teaches me to read better, wiser, and wider. (Oh, I still read for the enjoyment!)

4 | I found and discovered great healing through writing. 

Healing from personal loss and stress and abuse, using especially the writing of flash fiction and poetry, has been a powerful and liberating experience.

5 | Writing is my daily fix.

Writing, reading, and creative art, like sleeping, eating, and exercise, restores and “feeds” me. If I skip it, my body, my soul, knows something is “missing.” I don’t pop pills—I battle it out on paper and the keyboard, with strenuous exercise, meditation and prayer, and in verbal jousting matches with friends. We all need healthy fixes. (So, I add a couple small pieces of dark chocolate to the menu! Gasp.) It is my goal and hopes it will inspire (aspiring) writers and budding artists to discover this as well. Not only the chocolate but the impact it has on others!

6 | It develops me as a person and writer.

It’s a universal truth: the more you write, the better you get at it. It enables me to give back to my reader and fellow writers. The more I write, (read, and do art) and learn in the process, the more I grow as a writer, a husband, father, friend, artist, and entrepreneur. I come in constant contact with incredibly gifted readers, writers, artists, and entrepreneurs, from whom I learn so much. The learning curve, in the beginning, was steep. And, I’m still learning, especially about marketing and publishing and entrepreneurship. Also about not giving up. And I believe it also benefits and inspire the individuals I come in contact with.

7 | It opens the door to many new friendships.

Since I’ve started on this writing journey almost eight years ago, I’ve had the privilege to meet many writers and authors and entrepreneurs from across the world in person, at conferences, as well as online, many of which have grown into friendships. This has been an honor, privilege, and joy. As is the case with fellow writers, friendships also develop with readers and followers, from who one learns so much—they keep inspiring and challenging me, as we grow into an “extended family,” becoming part of a tribe.

8 | I see and appreciate my writing as a God-given talent. 

Like any ability, any talent, writing needs nurturing and regular practice to hone it and make it stronger and better and healthier and more effective.

I am always reminded of the words of Eric Liddle, the famous sprinter who would later become a missionary in China, when in 1924, weeks prior to the summer Olympics, his response to his sister Jenny’s concern that his running was distracting him from his “real” purpose (according to her) of becoming a missionary, he had said: “God made me with a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I can feel His pleasure.” (I highly recommend watching the Oscar-winning 1981 film, Chariots of Fire, in which this is portrayed.)

So it is with my writing—I can feel “God’s pleasure.”

Storytelling (and writing) changes lives.

Call to Action: What is preventing you from writing and publishing your book?

It doesn’t need to be a novel. Start with essays, a short story, or a collection of poems.

Call to Action: What is preventing you from writing and publishing your book?

It doesn’t need to be a novel. Start with essays, a short story, or a collection of poems.

Let your story be heard!

You can also find a FREE copy of my short story, Young Maxime here. (It is the prequel to my novel, Maxime.)

© 2018 All rights reserved.

Image by Danie Botha.

Get the prequel to my book Be Silent 

A calling can consume. It is one thing for a driven preacher to turn big game hunter. It’s an entirely different narrative when a wounded 2,200-pound bull is turned into a killing machine . . . 

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