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Why I Write

by Barbara Early

I recently came across this meme on Facebook featuring a quote by famous comic-book writer Stan Lee:

And it got me thinking about why I write. For those unfamiliar with my background, I have a degree in engineering, so somehow writing cozy mysteries might not be the most logical career choice. And there are times, when struggling with an empty page that just won't cooperate, or facing a deadline that seems to be approaching at breakneck speed, I wonder just why I chose that path.

Since this is an inspiration blog, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that God is the ultimate refuge. Many Bible passages talk about how he is our refuge and strength, the Comforter, and in times of trouble, we can run to him and he will gather us under his wings and hold us in the hollow of his hand.

But books can also be such a tremendous refuge. During many years when home life was difficult as a child, I was able to set that aside for a time, and I stepped out as a titian-haired girl detective cruising around River Heights in a blue convertible. When my mother was dying from ALS, often I'd come home, stretch out on the bed, and spend time with a salt-and-pepper-haired reporter and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum-Yum.

The thing I truly love about reading cozy mysteries is their ability, no matter what the external circumstances, to take me to a small town that I'd like to visit, inhabited with people I'd like to meet. There I can, through the power of fiction, become the detective, show off my brilliant deductive skills, bring a killer to justice, and put aside, for a time, the mundane-painful-heart-breaking details of real life.

As a writer, I had hoped that my books would provide that experience for someone else, to help them through a difficult time. And I have heard from several readers that they have, which has both pleased and humbled me.

Question for Discussion: Writers: why do you write? Readers: why do you read?


  1. Why do I write? I think I'd better go to a therapist and ask!

    I'll tell you one thing--once I meet a character (create one), I feel responsible for them. I think they deserve to have that great episode in their lives told.
    But... seriously, quilting is so much less stress.
    Life is stories. We all desire to move beyond our borders. Regardless of a reader's faith or lack of it, we must notice that Jesus, part of the triune God (and who knows human nature better?) told stories. We learn and we expand and we don't know it because we're being entertained.

  2. I think I write because:

    1. It's what I'm wired to do. Good or bad, it's my calling.

    2. In this crazier-by-the-minute world, it's nice to have at least one tiny little place where things make sense, love is forever, and justice is served

    3. I have contracts. ;)


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