The more I think about it, the more I realise I forgot one other, rather important, reason why I write.
It’s to be someone.
I don’t mean to be famous, or even well-known. I meant to be someone who exists.
Let me explain. In real life, I’m rather small and quiet. I don’t get noticed. I’m the one people walk into, saying ‘sorry, I didn’t see you there.’ I’m the one shop assistants ignore, knowing I won’t complain, or if I do, no-one will pay any attention. I’m the one people push in front of in queues. I’m the one people talk over. In real life I am, in effect, a non-entity.
But on the page I can change. I can be witty and charismatic and colourful and powerful, and if I work hard enough and learn enough I know exactly the right words to make my reader feel like that too. On paper, I exist.
It’s a very important reason to write.