That I’m not the next King, Atwood, or Gabaldon became apparent years ago, but I’ve kept writing. That’s how I realized I write to feed my soul, not to put food on the table.

It then follows that I don’t write this blog to sell goods or services. That said, do feel free to buy any/all of my four books!

Why I Blog

Where the magic happens

Early on, my blogs were geared exclusively toward writers: tips, prompts, potentially useful information, etc., such as the value of writing every day for 15-60 minutes.

Over the years, I’ve shared all the advice I have at least once. Plus, there are whole books dedicated to instruction, tips, and prompts.

Research is sometimes the most fun part of writing!

More recently, I’ve focused on potentially useful—and generally interesting, at least to me—information. Thus, I’ve researched such diverse topics as the prices of human body parts on the black market and Shiva Lingam, a sacred stone of India.

I’m an educator by training and profession. For me, perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of blogging is researching new information, and then sharing it with others. In that sense, my target audience is the world.

Other Reasons to Blog

A few of my shorter publications

My blogs avoid politics and religion. I have strong feelings on both, but blogging about them feels like proselytizing. Sharing views and opinions seems better left to dinner with family and friends—some of them, anyway! 

But sometimes the line gets blurred. For example, the story of the Ohio ten-year-old who had to go to Indiana to get an abortion has filled the news recently. Doubts about this story initially abounded (now thoroughly debunked), but it turned out to be heart-breakingly true.

However, reports of child (even infant) sexual abuse are all too common. According to the WHO, “Approximately 12 million girls aged 15–19 years and at least 777,000 girls under 15 years give birth each year.” Research by the CDC has found, “In 2009, approximately 410,000 teens aged 15-19 years gave birth in the United States, and the teen birth rate remains higher than in other developed countries.” Can child pregnancy really be that rare?

F.Y.I., Lina Marcela Medina de Jurado, born 23 September 1933, is a Peruvian woman who became the youngest confirmed mother in history when she gave birth aged five years, seven months, and 21 days. 

Perhaps it is apparent that I don’t put a premium on optimizing my blog. (See last week’s guest blog on how to do that by Kathleen Corcoran.) Sometimes long sentences and long words are appropriate, even necessary! And I doubt many 11-15 year-olds (theoretically the target audience for all online writing) read my blogs, so why dumb-down the vocabulary?

BOTTOM LINE: Who knows which of my weekly blogs might interest you? Check out some of my past entries just in case!

Blog optimization cares nothing for lightning or lightning bugs.

Why Do I Write?

If you aren’t writing to put food on the table, you’re writing to feed your soul. And if you are writing to put food on the table, you are likely on a starvation diet!


how much do writers earn less than you think
As you can see from the blue and yellow bars on the graph, the vast majority of writers report earning less than $1000 a year. So what’s in it for us?
From college till I left paid employment thirty years later—excepting the occasional lines of private poetry—I wrote only academic articles and research reports. When no longer employed, with no title and no built-in social network, I found myself lost. And depressed. That’s when I started writing Dark Harbor. Mysteries had been my favorite escapist reading, so of course I could write one! I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing and enrolled in a writing class at the VMFA Studio School. And here I am, three books and more than fifty short stories later, still writing.


So why write? Because it’s good for you! In the February 10, 2017, Writers Digest published “11 Reasons Writing is Good for Your Health” by Baihley Grandison. According to Grandison, there are 11 science-backed ways writing improves your mind, body and spirit. Read the whole article, but in the meantime, here are the topics covered:


  1. Communicate better
  2. Be smarter
  3. Achieve goals
  4. Increase memory capacity
  5. Boost job prospects
  6. Healthier immune system
  7. Reduce blood pressure
  8. Improve lung function
  9. Boost athletic performance
  10. Heal traumatic and upsetting experiences
  11. Gratitude
6 unexpected ways writing can transform your help
Writer’s Digest isn’t the only source of such assertions. As far back as this Huffington Post article from 11/12/2013,  Amanda L. Chan extolled the virtues of writing by hand to better retain information and build motor memory. Other benefits of writing listed were:


  • Expressing emotions through words may speed healing
  • Consider it a fundamental part of your gratitude practice
  • Writing what you’re thankful for could help you sleep better
  • It makes your mind—and body—better
  • It could help cancer patients think about their disease
My own experience with breast cancer and its treatment gave rise to three publications: a magical realism piece, “Beast and the Beauty”; a memoir titled “Hindsight” about altering my view of my mother’s invalidism; and a newspaper essay titled “Repair or Redecorate After Breast Cancer.”
10 reasons why writing is good for you
Jordon Rosenfeld cited ten reasons for writers to keep writing regardless of publication or income. Rosenfeld encouraged sharing his post, so here’s his list:


  1. Creativity has been proven to have positive effects on health, self-esteem and vitality
  2. Writing is good for your brain, creates a state similar to meditation
  3. Writing hones your powers of observation, giving you a fuller experience of life
  4. Writing hones your powers of concentration and attention, which is more fractured than ever thanks to technology and TV
  5. Writing connects you with others through blogging, writing groups, live readings, and self-publishing outlets like Scribd and Smashwords
  6. Through writing we preserve stories and memories that may otherwise be lost
  7. Writing entertains you and others, and having fun is an important part of good health
  8. Writing strengthens your imagination, and imagination is key to feeling hope and joy
  9. Writing helps heal and process wounds and grief, clearing them out
  10. Life is too short not to do what you enjoy
vivian lawry author
Why do I write? It keeps my brain sharp. I learn new things when researching stories—everything from the effects of ketamine on humans to the price of gasoline in 1930 to the characteristics of Buff Orpington hens. I understand myself better in relation to my family. I meet interesting people. (I’ve never met a boring writer!) My journal helps me keep track of personal events, thoughts, and trivia. Publishing—even without much financial reward—is good for my self-esteem. And now that I am a writer, I no longer define myself by what I used to be—as in, “I’m a retired academic.”


Why do you write?