After Wednesday’s groan-athon, where I attempted to turn whiny introspection into an art form, and realising that I probably focus on rejection way too much in these posts, I thought I’d write something rather more positive.
A couple of days ago, my other half was reading my first blog post for Mslexia. After the odd wry smile*, he finally said,
Bloody hell, it’s tough, isn’t it?
By this I don’t think he meant writing blog pieces was tough – cos that’s as easy as falling off a stack of the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica – but that the road to being a paid author is tough.
The comment made me look at the whole endeavour with fresh eyes.
Yes, it’s tough. Few people who love to write can do so professionally, fewer still full time. And it’s only the top tiny percent who become so rich they make Croesus look like the Clampetts pre oil strike.
But that doesn’t phase most of us, because that’s not why we do it.
We write because words are part of our DNA, woven into our genetic make up as much as brown eyes and a tendency to freckle.
We write because at some point, we have fallen into the whirlpool of a book, drowned in its world, felt the emotional tug of its characters – we’ve inhaled the magic of the best stories. And we’ve thought, even subconsciously,
“Dammit, I’d love to do that for someone else”
We write for the fleeting joy when a scene, a phrase – even a mere word – feels right.
We write because we grow to love our characters, they live in our minds and whisper at our shoulders, telling us what they wish to do next – what they WILL do next – and we want to be along for the ride.
We write because we want to prise open the door on the worlds we created and say to others, ‘Come on, take a look. Share this with me.’
We write for Joy and Love and even for the Pain we feel as our best created friends slip from us.
We write because we have to.
At least, that’s why I write.
So all my writer pals out there, tell me why you write.
Fame? Fortune? The possibility of appearing on Radio 2’s book club with Simon Mayo (oh, yes please)? Or is it just because if you don’t, the stories will build up until your head bursts a la Scanners?
*My husband has been with me for twenty five years, so he’s heard all my gags now – it’s tough to make him really laugh. Carry on reading this blog until the year 2040 and you will no doubt feel the same.