Author of three published novel, Miriam Wakerly poses the question we ask our self from time to time, why do we do it?
Oh, the pain, the heartache! The worry, the precious time it gobbles up! Why do writers write fiction?
Some authors will be absolutely clear about their motivation and will no doubt tell me so. Please do!
Do we chase the dream of writing ‘for a living’? As with many artistic endeavours, to be able to earn money creatively, pleasurably, seems the ideal lifestyle. Perhaps you do! Do we want fame and fortune? Do we love the thrill of aiming high? A bestseller? Enjoy a bit of a gamble? Or is it just a big ego-trip? Are we basically insecure beings who need adulation or approval? Perhaps we want to leave something tangible for posterity.
Some authors may have a burning issue, a message or cause they need to convey; or an experience to share, wrapped up in a story. Perhaps shy and introspective (see para 3 here http://miriamwakerly.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-book-launch-speech.html) we are more at ease, and more effective when communicating in print, or on screen, rather than vocally. A teacher may have once inspired us; or a love of language may simply propel us forward. Finding ‘le mot juste’ or a turn of phrase can be immensely satisfying. A lively imagination cannot be denied an outlet or something will burst! Ah, to escape reality – there’s another one.
Amazing how many possible reasons to write there are! Have I missed something? What’s yours?
For me, well, there may be minuscule amounts of all of the above, except for fame. I have no wish for that.
The reason I write is that I enjoy it! I find the research fascinating too – to really get under the skin of a subject. I suspect most writers are the same. I love to create characters and places; weave a story through a maze until it all comes together at the end. Perhaps I am a control freak, presiding over my imagined world, moving people around like pawns.
But – and this is a big BUT – there seems little point or purpose in writing a novel that will never see the light of day! There comes a point when writing is bound up with ‘who is this for?’ and before you know it, you are thinking ‘readers’, ‘genre’, ‘target audience’ and thus inexorably we are drawn into the world of promotion and marketing. For some this may even be the starting point.
One thing I never predicted was the wonderful side effect of this solitary psychosis (building castles in the air and living in them!), and that is meeting so many warm-hearted, like-minded people both for real and online.
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