I’ve contemplated this question many times. The desire to be a writer has been with me since high school. But I went off in other directions until about sixteen years ago when I finally decided to do it. It took me nine years to land a literary agent, fifteen years to get a book published (self-published) and sixteen years to find a publisher. I ask myself if it is worth it.
My current work-in-progress is almost finished; I have plans to send it off to the literary agent in September. So, last week I decided to take some time off. Instead of plunking away at the keyboard for an hour or so in the evening after getting home from work, I’d do something else. I watched TV, played some games on the computer and did some catching up on my reading. The evenings seemed to go much slower, and I didn’t feel robbed of my time.
Then this weekend I decided to crank out a scene for the next book. This is nugget of an idea that sat in the back of my mind for a long time. Nothing could make it go away. The characters, the places and the action demanded to be born. I worked for hours typing the one thousand twenty eight word scene. Sometimes the words flowed like quick-sliver and my fingers could barely keep up. Other times I lingered over a phrase for minutes until it was just right. When finished, I felt a great relief having wrought something stored away in my brain for many years.
I tussled for a long time, wondering why I do this. Certainly it’s not for the money. I could find other things to do with my time. But the stories are locked inside my head and want to come out. I can’t ignore them. And when they are finally on paper, I feel a great satisfaction. Something that wasn’t before now exists.
Stories we’ve read from Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King and a million authors live on inside of us. Something that once resided only in one person’s imagination, now lives in the minds of others and becomes a part of them. I write to share with others what’s been a part of me.
Why do you write?