Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Why I Write

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Do you regularly free write? Do you wish you did? Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook or a blank page and keep your hand moving for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. 

Then, share a link to your free write in the comments section below. We’d love to see what you did with this week's prompt! 

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Photo by Jena Schwartz

Photo by Jena Schwartz

It's the biggest question any writer can ask herself: Why do I write? It's the question we often ask our fellow writers, as Meredith Maran does in her 2013 book, Why We Write. Maran asks twenty extremely successful authors to share their writing reasons and realities, and the answers she got were as varied as they were inspirational.

Mary Karr writes "to dream; to connect with other human beings; to record; to clarify; to visit the dead." Susan Orlean writes "because I love learning about the world. I love telling stories and I love the actual experience of making sentences." Sue Grafton writes "because in 1962 I put in my application for a job working in the children's department in Sears, and they never called me back."

Today, free write an exploration of why you write.

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Do YOU have a writing prompt to share with Literary Mama readers? Send your 150- to 300-word narrative and associated writing prompt to lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com. We'd like to hear your ideas!


Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer and blogger, focusing on nature and science stories. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Terrain.org, Newfound, Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.


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