I’ve been thinking about my work as a writer.
Why do I write? Why fiction? Why do I continue?
Why I write is an easy question to answer. I have “always” written. Ever since grade school diaries I have put pen to paper in order to commemorate events. That hasn’t changed. I think better when I write. I process emotions better when I write. I live better when I write.
Now mind you, little of that writing is fiction. Rather, it is a normal extension of my consciousness.
So why fiction? It was a challenge. I’ve written scientific journal articles, term papers, dissertations, and some long ago poetry. But not since grade school when my friends and I all wrote Nancy Drew mysteries, or tried to, had I written fiction. My scientific training indicated that novelty was good for the brain. And my day to day work was becoming routine in many ways. So I decided to try something new. Could I write a story? Could I separate myself from the day to day enough to actually create fiction?
It turned out that I could.
Why do I continue? Well, it’s fun. Not all of it, certainly. There are days when my work is indeed, work. Many of those, in fact. But the satisfaction of crafting a story that a reader will enjoy is deep, and lasting, and brings joy. So I continue despite the “negatives” of marketing and list tending and story planning (which is not natural to me). The joy inherent in a finished book is worth the effort.
I believe we all lean towards doing the things that bring us joy and satisfaction. And I believe that what, exactly, those things are varies from person to person. What are your “things”? And why?
Please share in the comments.
Until next time,