It was a simple question, asked by a co-worker: “How are the book sales coming?” I replied that based on royalties I wouldn’t be giving notice any time soon and then he asked, “why do you even bother to write?” I blew him off with something about how typing keeps my fingers flexible and changed the subject.
I could see no point in trying to explain the drive, the need to release the characters and scenarios that clutter up the brain, all screaming for attention until set down on paper.
A writer writes because he or she has no choice in the matter. Some people satisfy this need by keeping journals or diaries. Short snippets committed to the written form are all that they need to silence the voices. Others among us find that the characters, the scenes and plot devices only grow more complex as we give vent to them. We have no choice other than to follow them to some (hopefully) logical conclusion.
I write to entertain and inform, first myself and then anyone who is gracious (or daring) enough to pick up one of my books. I am personally entertained by the process of having a story unfold before me and informed by the research that must be done in order to give the story some basis in reality. It is my goal that the reader be entertained and informed by exposure to the material found between the covers.
And so, if my co-worker reads this blog he will have the answer that I might have given. A shorter version could be that I simply like to tell myself stories I’ve never heard before.
Thanks for reading.
Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
An even shorter story would have been the middle finger for him. Keep that in mind for next time! 🙂 -OM
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Duly noted and filed for future action. Sometimes the concealed, stealth middle finger is not adequate.
Reblogged this on therichardbraxton and commented:
Writing is a habit that most people don’t truly understand. Their experience of writing is being forced to write a short essay in high school English class. They think that writing is as boring and as easy as that. they don’t know what it is like to fidget with a sentence to get just the rite words in just the rite order. They have never pondered over a paragraph trying to get the most vivid scene possible. And they have sure never paused in the middle of a sentence to ponder whether or not they actually knew what the hell they were talking about.
They think that a novel takes just a few hours of work scribbling into a notebook and that a “good Idea” is all that it takes to write well. In fact, they think that all they have to do is spend the couple of hours to scribble and they would be the next New York Times Best seller. And they show this ignorance when they assume that the drive to write has anything to do with desire for money.
Money is great: Money is good. And if I could earn a buck selling my stories I would not turn it away. But there is something much more satisfying about writing than just earning a buck.
True, and well put. If it were only about the money this whole digital, print on demand phenomenon would never have occurred.
I write partly to get the stories out, but for me, I want to share the stories. I want to share the excitement of discovery of the stories. When I started writing, I really was hoping to get published in the traditional way… a nice book that would sit on the shelf, loaned by libraries and sold as paperbacks in stores. But it seems that is a lot harder to do. I’m not sure if there is as much satisfaction with electronic publication and self publication.
Still I am plugging away at my first novel… well actually I have two novels in progress with a couple of others in the wings.
But still… I want to get the stories out… my favourite aspect is creating worlds… but then again I am mostly into Fantasy and Science Fiction. 🙂
Never give up. Back in the day when the traditional publishers controlled the industry I amassed a respectable collection of rejection slips, some quite amusing. I was surprised to see how snarky a “Chief of Rejection Services” could be when crushing the hopes of the next would-be Hemingway. My favorite was a simple internal routing slip designed to direct material between departments. It had a single sentence, “send _______ to _______.” The person returning my manuscript had filled in “nothing else” and “to us.” Good luck and Godspeed with your novels.
Well… quoting “Galaxy Quest” I: “Never give up! Never Surrender!” 🙂 So I will keep trying…
Galaxy Quest, now there’s a pleasant blast from the past.
SO true..what I didn’t know was written by me..
Thanks for the comment and keep those fingers flying across the keyboard.
Most likely your co worker wants to write themselves!
Could very well be. I would much prefer to have that discussion with him than the “money is the only reason” one.
It never ceases to amaze me how often creatives have to defend themselves for putting themselves out there!
I totally get it. Why do I write? Because no one has yet to come up with a cure for it.
Thanks, I needed that. The question is if they. (yes, there’s that ubiquitous they), came up with a little green and purple pill to cure the need to write, would you take it?
I write because it is all I think about. I write because if I don’t, I sit and do nothing all day. A couple reasons why I bother.
An obsession and also a blessing, depending on the time of day.
I write to get my muse off of my back… of course, that only lasts til I’ve completed a project and then she is back with a vengeance… LOL. Great post! I discovered you via Harsh Reality 🙂
Jason is a great asset to a huge number of people. The muse will not be denied. Try it and she’ll be back with riding crop and spurs.
Jason really is great 🙂 and my muse already knows how to use a riding crop.. ha! Thanks for stopping by!
You hit the nail on the head! I, too, write because I must, else the thoughts and ideas bounce around in my brain … they must have an outlet! I write because I have things I need to say … whether anyone listens or not! Great post!
Thanks for your comment. It is nearly impossible to explain the need to write to someone not so afflicted. The characters are there, inside the head, and must be given their vent.
Exactly! Most times I love it, but sometimes it is not even fun, yet still, I must …