I was asked an interesting question the other day. Why write? The person guessed correctly that there are far easier ways to make a fortune. Collecting cans for example or donating plasma. I suspect there are as many reasons why writers choose to write as there are writers, including:
* Making stuff up for a living is far more fun than working in a coal mine, chicken processing plant, or pumping sewage. Compared to most jobs it’s going to come out the winner. You get to wear sweatpants all day and talk to imaginary people. Laying on the sofa and daydreaming is called “brainstorming” and is very serious stuff.
* Most writers I know talk about feeling “compelled” to write. They can’t stop. Some English teacher gave them a creative writing free sample and from there they moved up to the hard stuff, short stories, novels, poetry. Once you’re hooked it takes near Intervention level strategies to get you to stop.
* They have to give word to the voice in their head. (It is possible psychological intervention and modern medicine could fix this, but writing can be done at home without going out.)
* It sounds sexy to say you’re a writer. If you’re looking to get lucky or get some nookie, saying “you’re a novelist” conjures up images of fancy literary parties and bad-boy artists that might get you into someone’s pants.
* Writing is cheaper than therapy. Want to imagine in depth revenge plans on someone who wronged you? Write it down! Sort out your issues with your controlling mother/father/spouse on the page. Avenge childhood traumas. There’s power in controlling how things end.
I do think there is one reason that is universal to most writers. A desire to share a story. To write is good, but to be read- divine. It’s a spin on the age old if a tree falls in the forest does it make any sound proverb. Being read is being heard.
Today I’m taking a moment to thank every person who ever took the time to read my books. I had a great weekend on Amazon with over 42,000 people downloading my book DO OR DI. It got me thinking about how lucky I feel to be able to share what I do.
Thank you to every person who left a review on Amazon, their blog or Goodreads. A big hug for anyone who ever wrote to say that they liked my books. And a hug wet kiss for anyone who ever passed my book to someone else and said “you should read this.”
It’s people like you who keep me out of the chicken processing plant- and for that- THANK YOU.