Tuesday, April 7, 2015
A to Z Challenge: Examine Your Motives
Well this is annoying. Yesterday I was stuck without Internet yet again. The problem this time being that I now don't have an open day in which to catch up. I guess I could just be a day behind on Sunday, but suddenly, I just don't trust my Internet to be there on the weekend.
So instead, I'll be doing (or trying to) two posts today. One now, and one later. (And the same on my other blog. Yeah no. I'm nothing if not determined.)
For this post's thing writers should know about being writers:
Why do you write?
This might sound like a silly enough question, but really it's incredibly important. As you might have gathered from my previous posts, writing is almost never just smooth sailing.
In fact, it might probably be the most challenging thing you've ever tried in your life. I think that quite a few people who've been reading my more recent posts will have wondered why I even put myself through the process of writing.
It's a good question. A fair one, I suppose. And one I need to return to every now and then like a touch-stone that keeps me on course.
Like when my publishing house and I split ways. (Not going there, but let's just say it wasn't a nice break-up.) Like when I queried over two hundred agents and got way more nos than I got eh... maybes. Or like when my book gets published and it simply doesn't seem to reach its readers. Or it does, and the readers don't like it like you'd thought they would (which actually implies they weren't your readers after all.)
When these sorts of things happen, the question actually pops up all on its own. Why am I putting myself through all this crap?
And if you're doing it to become rich or famous or infamous, or to show everyone around you how good you are at writing... You better hope you get it right the first time around, because if not, being a writer will make you a miserable person. In fact, if you've reached this stage and you're still writing, I applaud your determination.
Simply put: I wouldn't be able to go through all this if I didn't love writing. Not the moment I get a "yes" from an agent or publisher. Not the moment when someone lets me know that the read and loved my book. Not the moment when the first monies start rolling in. Not the moment Oprah (or whoever it is these days that makes a book "matter") lets the whole world know she likes my book.
Don't get me wrong. Those other things are awesome.
They're just not the reason I write. And that's a good thing, because I can't count on any of those things to actually happen to me when I'm busy with a story.
My love for my story, for losing myself in worlds of my own creation. For actually creating a story that's my own instead of experiencing someone else's creation...
Maybe your reasons will differ a bit from mine. Many people use writing as a catharsis. Many people just love to escape. But all of us enjoy at least most of the process of creating our stories.
The rest of it, is (and should be) secondary.
So why do you write?