Why I Write by Sally Stephenson

Exploration. After considering this question for a while I realize that this is the only true answer that I can give. By writing we explore the world around us, people we create and scenarios we come up with for our characters. Initially I wrote because I didn’t know what else to do with the prose that kept popping into my head and writing has always been something that has been in my life. But it is exploration that keeps me writing and also travelling. Through the style of writing that I’ve chosen to develop my skills in I’m able to ask big questions and try and work out the answers through my writing.

With Wildflowers the main question I wanted to try and answer was ‘Would you be with someone if it meant risking everything?’ ‘What lengths would you go to be with someone?’ and ‘What would you do for the person you loved?’ There were also some other questions that I tried to answer but I wanted to explore human emotion with Wildflowers.

Human emotion is a key element in writing no matter the genre and by writing where exploring the limits and extents of what humans are capable of when it comes to love, hate, revenge, glory, perusal and so on.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, it’s become a key part of who I am and how I’ve grown as a person. My writing has also grown, I mainly wrote fantasies before but none were very good. Now that I’m trying to learn how to write for the literary genre I realize that a lot of these books explore what it means to be human and what it means to connect to other humans.

I write because I want to explore these themes as well, I write because it’s how I find out the answers. Like most writers, I hope to write something that will be memorable enough to last for a long time, but I think at the end of the day I simply want to write something that means something and so through years of practice and years of reading I might eventually get there. It may not be with Wildflowers but it’ll be with something, so I’ll keep writing till I find it but for now writing helps me explore the world and the people who live in it.

If I write to explore the world around me I also write to explore the language that’s around me. From the eloquent to the profane to the foreign, language is a strange and complex thing. Every time I write and try and up my game when it comes to prose. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve read numerous books that have inspired this exploration of language; The Time Travelers Wife, Hotel on the Corner of the Bitter and Sweet, A Thousand Splendid Suns and more. All these writers have explored their world and characters by using language that delights my senses. As genre changes so does the style of writing. The language style of J.K. Rowling, is far different to that of Jamie Ford or Jack Kerouac but her words are still a delight. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of it, the idea that choosing a single word, putting it next to another one and so on in the right order can create something that is magnificient!

Language transports us into worlds, introduce us to characters and make us understand the world a little better. By exploring characters, human emotion, language and writing it fuels those of us who are creative. When we find something that inspires us we find the fuel that we need to create something new, something that is ours. That can come in the form of many things, but for me it’s always been writing. I’ve tried other creative outlets; painting, design and so on but writing has always been my strength and comfort.

There are many reasons why someone writes but I believe that it’s because writers ultimately want to create something. Some want to recreate a greatness that has already gone before them, others want to create something new. Some want to create something that they think was missing from something they loved and some just write because there’s no alternative. For me I think I’m a mixture of all this, depending on what mood I’m in. At twenty five there’s still a lot of the world I have left to explore, whether it be through travel or through people I meet I know I’ll still try and find answers through writing. I’ll ask the big questions and hopefully find a creative way of answering them. For me that’s why I write, so that I have answers and can share them with whoever wants to read what I’ve come up with.

Sally Annabelle Stephenson was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1986 to Nuclear Physicist Ian Stephenson and secretary Lesley Moore. Growing up stories were abundant in her household. Her mom would spend her early childhood reading to her. At age six, She wrote her first short story for a class assignment. She graduated with a B.A. in American Studies in 2008. She has had two short stories published to date and a handful of journalism articles with more in sight for the future.

Order Sally’s book here!


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