Raison D’être

Why do you create? Publish a post about your artistic raison d’être.

Photo by Jimmy Musto

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
Flannery O’Connor

Raison d’être is a French term, meaning “the reason or justification for existence.” I’m fascinated by motivation — the invisible force that gets us to take action: to write that post, poem, memoir, or novel, to draw the portrait, create the collage, or photograph the moment. Motivation itself — its source and its ebb and flow within us — is as unique as the things we create when it strikes.

In a recent Discover feature, emerging author Vanessa Mártir recounts the reason why she writes. After I read her raison d’être, I was not only motivated, but inspired and empowered to tackle creative projects that I’d let languish.

I write to take back my power. Every time I write, I take back my power in small and large ways, and I give voice to that little girl I was who felt unloved and unworthy. Every time I write, I am reminded that I matter and my stories matter. I can push back on those people that told me that my writing wasn’t writing, that my voice didn’t matter, because I’m a woman of color who grew up in poverty in Bushwick, Brooklyn when it was a pile of rubble. I can push back on those who looked down on my brother because of his addiction and his pain. Through writing I can show them that the addicts people give a wide berth to are human beings who have been through something so devastating, they turned to drugs to numb themselves and escape.

It’s why I return to the page over and over. We’re made to feel powerless in so many ways. The page reminds me that there are ways I can fight back. There are ways I can make myself heard. Writing is my way.

Shaken baby syndrome by Vanessa Mártir

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” Miles Davis said that and it has guided everything I’ve ever done or made.
Danny Gregory on making art.

This week, let’s focus on your raison d’être. Why do you write? Paint? Draw? Cook? Sculpt? In any medium you choose, publish a post that conveys your creative motivation.

To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.

Show Comments


Comments are closed.

Close Comments


  1. I agree with Flannery, to write is to organize my thoughts by expressing them with adjectives and its like swimming through my experiences.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. My passion, if not story telling, is story writing.

    Since I was a child I dreamt of people and places that I haven’t actually ever met or seen. Some of them were really scary and some really interesting. I was into reading since I learned how to read, and I read hundreds of books. I was also a big lier and invented so many stories…OMG I used to lie so much… Now, I decided to put my creativity at work and get the best I can from my biggest flaw, the lie. I have finally taken the decision to write my own stories, inspired from the dreams I see and lies I tell. The stories I write are purely created by myself involving the necessary research on the subject matter.

    P.S. The above was not a lie..

    This actually my about page and its pretty much answering the question..

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Absolutely true.Writing is an escape into the land of our imagination. It is that place you bring to life your thoughts and ideas where there are no limitations or barriers. Writing is putting emotions into words that can be felt by others reading it. Whether from intense pain or a plateau of happiness, the words have a way of resonating with people out there and that is the power all writers have even if they are not aware of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I write because, being a quiet person, a lot of times I don’t get to say what I really think about something. Or I don’t say it, because I don’t think of a good response until later. With writing, I can store it all up, write it out and still be heard.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I write because it’s easier than speaking. I was shy growing up, and writing words on paper was my way of sending out my voice, of finding my voice, really, and it still is. It’s also an escape, a place where I can play and dream. It’s also my creative outlet-I can’t paint or knit or sing or arrange flowers, but I can dream up stories, make characters speak words. Writing is so many things, it really is my raison d’etre.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I am intimadated with public speaking, I don’t have that class A personality and I am an introvert. Writing is my way to speak, express myself, and be an outgoing person. SoTina, I can relate to what you wrote.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ha, I completely agree with O’Connor. Organising feelings with the help of words makes them at least seem logical 😉 Great writer, btw.


  7. I write about gardening, for the same reason Kathrine Ross sent messages tied to tumbleweeds in Conagher. Because I have things to say and few people to hear them. Living on a farm has its challenges. The landscape is beautiful, but remote. So, I send words out into the wilderness and hope they will eventually find someone, interested enough to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was a beautifully well written post that solidifies how many of us find different ways to deliver our art and why we/you do it. Thank you.


118 Responses While this challenge is closed to new entries, we encourage you to visit the Reader to find other avid bloggers.