My Why | Reasons to Write | Sara Biren

This month, we were asked to either tackle the subject of AI (hard pass) or what makes us write.

Writing, for me, is as necessary as breathing, and has been since I was very young. It’s a creative outlet, a challenge, my purpose. Some days, I write only for myself. Most days, I write for others. I write to bring others happiness, or a moment of clarity, or a path to work through emotions or grief. And I hope that there will be times when my words make a lasting and memorable connection with a reader.

Every now and then, readers reach out to me to tell me how my books have impacted their lives, and it’s everything. Those messages make all the hardest moments worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears. Those messages remind me of all the whys and inspire me to keep moving forward, even when (especially when) the work is hard and discouraging.

Last week, a young reader messaged me on Instagram to ask about the German edition of my third novel, Bend in the Road, which was recently published with a different title, The Light in Your Eyes. She very bravely asked me if I would consider sending a signed book for her school library’s Battle of the Books competition.

She then wrote:

The first book that I ever enjoyed reading was Cold Day in the Sun. After reading that book, reading just became a big part of my life and I just wanted to thank you personally because I truly enjoy reading and telling people about your books!

Then her mother messaged me (a first!) after she’d recorded her daughter reading my response (of course I said yes):

You completely made her day... probably her year. She was crying. Your books really changed her. She never read anything.. EVER. When she started reading your books, she would NEVER put them down. She has had some rough times in middle school and your books helped her a lot. Thanks again.

They sent me the video and I could not believe that her excitement and happiness and tears were because of me. It brings tears to my eyes.

A few days later, a friend (who happens to be a librarian), shared this summer reading program review of The Last Thing You Said with me:

How lucky am I that one of my books was chosen for someone’s summer reading program? Also? The book is fabulous. I love it!

Sometimes, it feels like we’re writing into a void. Sometimes, we see evidence that we are making a difference, one reader at a time. 


  1. Oh, wow, what a powerful story, to make an impact on someone's life like that.


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