What’s a writer for?

What’s a writer for? What good do we do? Do we just march forward, puking our subconscious clutter onto the page – molding it and trying to make it mean something? Some people read it. OK. I always wanted to be a writer. Now, that I am, I sometimes find myself wondering what I want to be now. What’s next?

Writers come in all flavors. We have some commonalities. Certainly. We are all worse than our forefathers. Regular people used to write letters better than anything I have ever written. Now we write ‘LOL’ and have a crapload of emoticons and type over each other in weird chats on FB.

Who can stand a writer? God, we’re an obnoxious lot sometimes. The downtrodden, the brilliant who hate what they write. The nimrods who think they are geniuses. The royal trappings we fit ourselves with. The shrug of ‘screw it’. No point in writing, but we do it.

I write things for money and some of those things are interesting and some are ridiculous. You have no idea how ridiculous. Unless you are a freelance writer. Then you do. Pays the bills. No frills. Like making a sandwich.

Then there’s the writing that seeps out around the edges of my mind when I am not looking. Some of that is OK. And I can write…I did my time. I don’t have a huge ego, but I don’t doubt my abilities. And if you want to battle, we can. I’d rather not. I’m rather busy.

Why are writers writing? What a weird skill to cultivate. Why aren’t we chefs? Everybody eats. Barely anyone reads. My novels pay some bills, but not as much as the SEO articles about plumbing supply chains that I grit my teeth through. So, why do I write fiction when the simple stuff pays better. Ego? I guess so.

Who wants to be a writer now? Anyone can do it, as Antrobus said last week. Which is good. I like it. But I gotta admit, when I was younger I thought it was something special. Being a writer was like being in an exclusive club. Now everyone knows an ‘author’.

I get freelance gigs…offers…to write novels for other people. That they can put their name on and pretend they wrote. What is that? If writers are useless what is someone who has someone write for them? I get if you want writing done for your business or whatever, but you really want someone to write a Vampire novel you can pretend you wrote?  Really?

Sometimes I feel like writing is the most wonderful thing in the world. I dig creativity. Art, music, crafts, macaroni paintings…I love people making stuff. And there is a certain masochism in writing. We have no canvas. No paint. We have symbols and words that we can use to paint pictures in other people’s minds. Pretty weird. Pretty hard. Cool, though.

I think I’ll keep writing. I like it. Even if it means my family can’t go to Disneyland. I tell better stories than a lot of Dads. That’s something. And I enjoy it. And maybe somebody gets something out of it other than me. I like to think it’s not selfish. It is, though. But I’ll keep doing it no matter what. Because I’m a writer. And we’re kind of like parasites. Too late to change the trajectory now. And even that’s a lie. What’s a writer for? Hell, if I know. But we know the best jokes. And we can make ourselves happy with a stub of a pencil and a napkin. And not even chimps can do that for long.

PS – I don’t know who’s artwork that is, and couldn’t find out. But don’t sue us. I like it.

*     *     *      *     *

JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his blog:www.jdmader.com (and musical nonsense here: JD Mader).



Author: JD Mader

JD Mader is an award winning short story writer and novelist. 'Joe Café' and 'The Biker' are out now, as well as 'Please, no eyes'. and the collaborative 'Bad Book'. Mader has been writing for half his life and has no plans on stopping any time soon. Learn more about JD Mader at his blog and his Amazon author page.

47 thoughts on “What’s a writer for?”

  1. Might as well ask a singer why he sings? Or a saxaphonist – why the hell is that man blowing into that weird tube? Ask a painter what's with all those colors? Or a baker – goddamn, not cookies again? Human beings are full of quirks and obsessions that define themselves as character traits. It raises us up from the beasts of the field.

    My two bits, anyway.

  2. JD

    I don't know why I write either. I find I get more enjoyment out of writing poetry and fiction. The mundane stuff I have written, but I am too busy now to even look at it. It is too dull.

    BTW I know non-writers ask were ideas come from. (yea, it is dangling.) I don't know. I just know that the more I dip into the story well, the more I have to write. Or if I don't write it I'll dream it.

    Thankfully since I started writing, I have less nightmares. 😉


          1. LOL – I used to be a problem solver and an electronics technician. Making connections just comes naturally. It also helps with fiction.


  3. We write because not doing so would be wrong. And while it's true that anyone can string some sentences together, doing so with the ability to connect and make the reader feel exactly the way you want them to, well, that's art, and art should be shared.

    Thank you for sharing your creative talents with the rest of us. It makes my world a brighter place.

    1. Thanks brother. Likewise. I was wondering who would get this post and who would just think I am off my rocker. 🙂


        1. I agree David. Hey, speaking of writing… I just bought, "Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip" because JD told me to. Very cool sir. I didn't know you were a writer! Small world.

          If I print the eBook out and send it to you, think I could get you to sign it for me?


          1. As Dan would say: Rush!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            You are a gentleman and I will return the favour (not that you're asking that).

            I will sign anything, using a pencil stub and a napkin!

  4. I think about this all the time. What's the point of it all? (And I write fantasy, for god's sake, so there's even more pointlessness). But I've tried *not writing* and life wasn't worth living. We write because life isn't worth living when we don't. And for me, that's enough.

  5. Personally, I am above all these petty faults. I spew…ah write gems worthy of Christie and Roberts and am proud of every comma, semicolon and exclamation point (used reasonably and in limited amounts). I never have a typo or a homonym used inappropriately. I belong to fewer than a dozen social media sites and, therefore consider myself a minimalist in this regard.

    I really done't cee what yuor problem is; buddy!

    cc: twitter, FB, Linkedin, Writers' Anonymous, AA, Rehab for Writers, copywrite file–just in case, and Book Junkies, Book Junkies Library, Book Junkies Reviews, Book Junkies Promo, Cheap Book, KindleMojo, the rest are none of your business.

  6. Dear JD Mader:

    I do think you are off your rocker. That's why I keep reading your articles. I write because I have stories to tell. And writing definitely decreases the nightmares.

  7. From what I understand, the artist that painted that picture you posted isn't known because they abandoned it without giving their name. It was in an exhibition by Bill Brown. Bill Brown runs a zine called "NOT BORED!" and the original picture (discovered in a trash bin, apparently) was going to be used as the first in a series of works that reference 70s punk songs. In this case, the X-Ray Spex song "I Am a Cliche." Here's a link to the exhibit:


    and a little more on that:

        1. I love the painting. It just shows that so much great indie art exists in different mediums, and it needs to be celebrated.

          I am fascinated by J. Johnson Higgins, and his intimate knowledge of this painting. I'll have to check out those links.

          Dan, you need chocolate chip pancakes as a reward for this wonderful piece of writing. I'll send them virtually.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: