I remember when I started writing in high school, it was because I wanted to be a film maker and make blockbuster action movies. Well, that was the surface reason. If I were to be really honest with myself, I think I was an angry little kid and had a lot to bitch about, and my screenplays gave me a creative outlet to do that and a reason to get people to hear my desperate cries for attention.


These days, I honestly don’t feel that I write to vent anymore. I mean, I still write bitchy stuff, but I think I channel my old anger more for comedic effect than any real sense of frustration. Entertaining friends then became the new reason I wrote, and I had tons and tons of mass-emails that resulted from that (this was before blogs came about).

So what’s my drive now? Why do I keep writing? Well, money is a good motivator, which would explain all the writing gigs I take up and my careers in magazines and social media. 

But what about my personal writing, like this blog for example. I guess I still want to entertain people, but deep down inside I want to write something that resonates with someone. Something that makes you pause for a moment and think: “Yeah, I know exactly how that guy feels.”

I was listening to Tegan and Sara today, and one particular song hit me hard.

Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try to keep me here.

Someday soon, I won’t be the one who waits for you.

It was like Sara took a bit of my soul and put it into her song because these lyrics just make so much sense to me. And I guess it is great to hear someone else echo your thoughts in such detail, because it reduces your sense of isolation. I’m not alone in the way I feel (or in this case, have felt), so I can take comfort in that.

Have I ever written something that has resonated with someone? Probably. I certainly hope so. Definitely not those silly screenplays I wrote as an angry teen… but there is one particular screenplay that means a lot to me.

I called it Idle Dreams and it was about two people who yearned to be able to pursue their dreams, yet couldn’t bring themselves to do it for various reasons like financial fears, other commitments, and the dreaded lack of self-confidence. I’m pretty certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who has felt like this.

It’s my most personal screenplay ever, and I really wanted to produce it into an indie film. I had even gotten a couple of actors together and we had begun production on it.


I lost steam and confidence halfway through, so it exists solely as a screenplay these days, along with some stills and recorded dialogue. My inability to finish it remains one of my biggest failures in my life (a fact that resurfaced recently when I got hit by the job interview question “What do you consider to be your biggest failure?”).

Anyway, I still harbor that hope that I will write something that makes a deep level of sense someday, that will so perfectly condense into words that describe the purity of a feeling or experience, so I’ll keep writing until that happens.

Well, that’s my reason. I’m sure you guys have your own reasons, and I think it’d be awesome if you shared them. Maybe it might be nice to find out that someone else writes for the same reason.

About Drew

I love my kids, my wife movies and video games (in no particular order). Sometimes my dog too, but he likes to stink up my pillow these days.

6 responses »

  1. The secretary says:

    To be honest, your noble reason to write makes me laugh a bit at my own reasons to write.
    I write to stimulate my mind and get more action for myself. As the author I can create any exciting scenario I want, which gets my mind whirling at how ridiculous and fanciful I can make a story. Alzheimer’s and dementia runs hard in my family and I want to keep my mind working for as long as it can. I was reading somewhere the more you stimulate your mind, the better chances you have at shaving off the inevitable and in rare (very rare cases) Not get it at all.
    As for the action part, I can make myself the heroine and ‘do’ any of the characters I adore. (yeah I don’t have much of a life outside from work, so fiction helps fill the gap)

    • Drew says:

      I don’t think your reason is any less noble than mine… not that I think mine is particularly noble or anything. I see it as just wanting to achieve the same level of truthfulness that my favorite writers/songwriters have.
      I’ve read about stimulating the mind to prevent dementia. In Singapore, they say playing mahjong (a gambling game that’s kinda like rummy with tiles) is a great way to keep the mind sharp and prevent the elderly from drifting away.
      To keep writing like that requires discipline, so it’s a very admirable reason! And every single writer has a little bit of “Mary Sue” in their characters. I’m extremely guilty of that!

  2. The secretary says:

    But to read how you write to hopefully write something that will resonate with someone is very noble indeed.

    (Had to send the last bit of my post to a new one as I accidentally clicked the submit button while trying to hide the screen here at work.)

  3. patpatkay says:

    I think I’m still at that angry teen stage and it’s funny because I also want to be a film maker at this very moment and have exactly the same reasons as you for wanting to go into film. I even told my

  4. patpatkay says:

    –damn flab, I accidentally pressed post comment in the middle of commenting! Anyway, I even want to take up film as my major in college. My dad said no though because it seems much too expensive and he doesn’t think it’s my passion. Well, I don’t know if at this very moment, I’m just going through a phase of wanting to be a film maker to want to express my bitchy thoughts haha! My blog is filled with bitchy thought s honestly. I don’t know what to with my life *laughs hysterically*. Hey, but I think it would be incredible if you could get that indie film into works! I think a lot of people would be able to relate to such a fear. My favorite sort of films are those that capture feelings on screen. 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Letizia says:

    I wonder if your unproduced screenplay is really a failure in the truest sense. I’ve always noticed that my unfinished creative projects end up popping up in my newer projects. Ideas become scattered into many different things instead. So I’ve started to see these big unfinished projects as weird rough drafts of sorts or like brainstorming projects.

    I don’t know if that works the same way for you 😉

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