I'm not really in the mood to write or blog, for any number of reasons. I'm way too tense right now to do so, even though in theory, writing ought to be a release of some kind. But I'm thinking about this now, because Jemima (who is distracting me from RL) and I are discussing the pitfalls of letting people know you write -- mainly, that people invariably want you to write some story that is not your own, but theirs. You see it all the time in the fanfic world: someone will post a nearly complete outline and ask for volunteers to turn it into a story.
The thing is, people write what they want to write. It's hard work, takes discipline, but there is still that element of spark/muse/inspiration -- what have you -- that actually makes writing an exhilarating rush involved. We write what we write because we're attracted to the subject matter, because it makes us want to get involved with the characters, to build on that world, to develop a storyline that is as addicting to write as it is (hopefully) to read. When writing isn't your day job, when it's something you do on the side and for fun and for the dream of maybe one day seeing your name in print (other than on a byline, which I have literally thousands of), then the limited time makes for a purely selfish decision: we writers prefer to write what we like, rather than what is suggested to us by others.
For instance, I like to write fiction because I like creating worlds that exist outside of my own, that are populated with characters who live only in my head, and all of this is removed far from my own reality; I'm not really interested in reality-based writing, which is a big reason why I gave up journalism. When I write fiction, I'm excited and I get into the story because just as much as the reader, I want to know what happens next. I'm not interested in writing about a story with an ending I already know or with characters who are presented to me on a silver platter. I write for the adventure of discovery as much as for the finished project.
But it's incredibly hard to explain this to people who find out you're a writer and ask you to write the story they've come up with, whether it's fiction or non. They are so eager about it, and I feel awful so I lie and tell them, "I'm not writing right now," when what I really want to say is "I'm sorry, but as wonderful and uplifting as your story is, I'm simply not interested enough to give up my one hour of writing time per evening to write it for you."