Why We Write

My next book is currently in the hands of my editor, and I’m looking forward to its publication a couple of months from now.

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m feeling a huge sense of relief, now that the hardest part is done. But it’s left me wondering why the heck people do this book writing thing.

During WWII, Director Frank Capra directed a series of movies entitled Why We Fight. Their aim was to explain why America was involved in the conflict. I offer Why We Write to help cast light on the question of why so many of us feel compelled to put ourselves through the enormous effort involved in writing and getting published.

The answer, as you might imagine, is spiritual in nature.

Every writer, or aspiring writer I’ve worked with has one thing in common.

It’s called a desire for Immortality, and despite its title, has nothing to do with living forever. Instead it’s about creating a ripple effect or legacy that might well outlive you.

A desire for Immortality is chosen as part of a soul’s life plan. As the beneficiary of this desire, you’ll feel impelled from within to do something that influences other people in some significant way.

And when you have a desire for Immortality, you’ll find ways to fulfill it that are unique to your soul types.

A Helper type might build homes for the homeless to fulfill their desire. A Spiritualist type might become a surgeon. A Creator type might be driven to get their art into the world so it can influence others.

But we’re talking about authors here. So I want to give you a few imaginary titles along with the Soul types of some equally imaginary authors. Hopefully this will give you an idea of why books come in such a variety of subjects.

A Creator type writes with originality, and isn’t afraid to use superlatives. I offer this title from my imaginary Creator: My Utterly Dreadful Awful Wasted Life as a Disneyland Princess.  

A Thinker type is more likely to offer us something well-researched, and whether they write fiction or non-fiction, their motivation is to help us better understand the world. My imaginary Thinker is the author of My Life Among the Headhunters of North-East Scotland.

Educator types want, unsurprisingly to impart knowledge. Their books are often academic and, without them, schools wouldn’t have most course books. I suggest Applied Calculus and Elementary Carpentry. It’s cerebral and practical. A perfect Educator combination.

My imaginary Caregiver author speaks from the heart and, like the educator, wants to impart knowledge. Her book is full of nurturing wisdom, and is entitled, Last Tweets: Caring for Your Terminally Sick Budgerigar.

Hunter types are task-oriented, often impatient, and they don’t waste time sugarcoating their words. They say what they mean, and they know how to get from A to B faster than anyone. My imaginary Hunter is the author of For Christ’s Sake Just Do It: A 10 Step Program for Getting Shit Done.

My Imaginary Spiritualist type author wants to inspire her spiritually-oriented readers with a work called, The Zen of Tao: Self-Actualization Through Inner Dreaming. [I realize as I write this that there probably is a book with this title out there.]

Helper soul types want to, well, help. Their books have titles that begin with the words, “How to…” For that reason, my practical, down-to-earth Helper author has launched a book to accompany her online course, How to Weave Your Own Pasta: Clothes that Look Good and Taste Good Too!

We look to Performer soul types for those entertaining holiday-season stocking-stuffers we’d never think of buying at any other time of the year. Often, they’re celebrities whose publishers make sure their names appear twice as large as the book’s title. My imaginary Performer’s offering this Christmas is The Scratch and Sniff Fart Book (With Instructions for Making Your Own Unique Smells!) [Again, apologies to the author if this is already on the shelves.

Leader types want to inspire and motivate (though, like Hunters, they sometimes end up just telling us what to do). Without Leader authors, airport bookstores would be devoid of all those 8-Minute Manager type books you don’t find anywhere else. My imaginary Leader type’s latest title is Unleash Your Inner Basilisk: 10 Steps to Being Type-A Like Me.

Which just leaves Transformers. These rare soul types want to change the world, and they inspire us to join them in doing so. Their ideals are lofty, but they have the energy to make their dreams a reality. I think you’d enjoy reading Hang the Lot of Them: A Vision for a New and Better Political System.

And that, in a nutshell, is why we write.

It’s to fulfill a deep soul need to leave a positive mark on the world, and to manifest the soul type that makes you who you are.

So, any books in your future?


Sign up for Ainslie’s newsletter to be notified when his next book is released. He’s keeping the title under wraps for now.


7 replies
  1. Kate
    Kate says:

    EXCELLENT! Your very entertaining Performer must’ve loved knowing we all laugh our asses off reading this!

    This old Spiritualist wrote a book, which came about directly and specifically because of you and your Spirit Guides. It is a fictional memoir of a woman who learned in a past life regression that she had the misfortune of having been one of the most controversial and hated, although famous, women in history.

    After two years and 76,000 words, along with a veritable shitload of self-and-soul examination, I am going through the semi-destructive exercise of sending queries to hundreds of literary agents to consider representing my manuscript of blood, sweat and tears to a publisher who will hopefully want to actually pay me something for this Magnus opus.

    But if it does get published, you will all know that it began here, with Ainslie and his Spirit Guides. I will leave a record ( fictional though it must be) of the TRUE thoughts, hopes, dreams and suffering of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of the notorious Henry VIII, and mother of Elizabeth I. She was called Anne, the Whore, and “The Concubine” during her life. All of England and most of Europe laid the blame for Henry leaving his wife of 20+ years at Anne’s feet. All his sins were displaced upon her beautiful little shoulders. In the end Henry ordered her arrest on trumped up charges of adultery, treason and, most disgusting of all, incest, with her beloved brother, George. She waited as the 5 men falsely accused with her were beheaded in May17, 1536, and two days later she too went to her death on a scaffold on Tower Green at The Tower of London, when the French Executioner of Calais beheaded Anne with single blow from his sword.

    My book tells her truth. Anne made it clear that she wants her story told, and as her soul’s final incarnation, it is my heavy responsibility to leave this account in her words. In doing so, I have discovered more about myself, and I am living evidence that past life exploration is real and is of great value.

  2. Nasrin Funk
    Nasrin Funk says:

    I love this blog. I would specially be interested in reading those books from the performer and hunter types 😀 But if I were to write one, most likely I’ll write as a creator/thinker type. I used to want to write and had a couple of great ideas. But I was discouraged. There were times I really wanted to leave a legacy, but not so much anymore. Hmm.. what could’ve happened to me? 😉

  3. Kassandra Lea Rempel
    Kassandra Lea Rempel says:

    Hey Ainslie! Love your books (read The Transformation first, and just finished The Instruction because it took so long for the print copy to arrive). Excited read the new one! I think I’ve also read all of your blog posts. Can’t get enough of your work. So grateful for the gifts you are sharing with us. Thank you!! (PS – I’m on the reading waitlist so I hope to talk with you one day soon…even if it’s not until Spring 2019 when your schedule is again free.)

  4. Cornelia Powell
    Cornelia Powell says:

    Dear Ainslie….reading about your heart surgery, or as Shakespeare wrote, “cracking open a noble heart”….!!! (Using the quote in my book on Princess Diana’s spiritual mission, so it was ‘on my mind’…-smile-) Do hope you’re resting in deep recovery by now….and even feel up to editing your new book! sending love, Cornelia


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