I came across this blog recently and I just love this lady's honesty and gutsy posts. Her latest post WHY DO I WRITE? got me to thinking about that myself. Her link is at the bottom of this post so you can read it for yourself.
In the past when asked this question I have always answered that I feel compelled to write. It has a life of its own. And while this may be true of most of us writers, I've come to believe this is a pat answer that sounds a bit pretentious. So let's give this a little depth.
On the creative side, I've always loved to write, even back in elementary school writing story assignments. Living other people's lives, creating the outcome of their situations, to making them bad or good. This is the fun side of writing. The research into topics I know nothing about to add to the story line...this is fun for me.
Then there is the emotional side. This is a little more complex. For me, my writing has become a healer. The characters I write about contain a part of me and working their problems out in ink helps heal my own.
My writing also gives me a voice through my characters. I've grown from a very shy child and young adult to a person who can walk up to strangers and introduce myself and carry on a conversation. I can stand up and sing, give a reading from my book and talk about myself and my writing-all in front of an audience.
But ask me to sit in a group discussion and have a voice that is heard, stand up in a debate and take control? Cannot do. Writing is where I find my voice, where I'm most comfortable, and where I'm most likely to influence anyone.
That brings me to another reason why I write. Do I want to influence people? I do want to share my experiences in my life with other women and hope that through my character's experiences they can relate to their plight and learn something about themselves. This is why I wrote Winter's Captive, to express what I learned about myself and share the lessons learned through my main character, Georgia Charles. The story is fictitious, but her pain, angst, and lessons learned are all mine. But I also want to entertain. Was I successful?
So far, the feedback received about the book has been very positive but an interesting thing has happened. I thought I was writing a book about women, for women and paying forward through my own experiences. However, my book is being labelled as an adventure, a suspenseful thriller, you won't want to put down.
Huh? Surprise! Somewhere along the way, the story has taken on a life of its own and men are reading the book and enjoying it. Am I pleased? You bet. A 93-year-old Australian lady has read the book three times and totally relates to the main characters plight and yet, men are reading it and being entertained.
Writing also has another side to it. It can be painful. When you don't have the muse, are having trouble developing a character's voice, or can't seem to pull it all together, frustration can creep in. I like to think that that is positive stress. It forces the writer to try harder and write stronger.
Here is the link to: Are we there yet? the site that inspired me to write this post. If you are a writer, what makes you write?
Just a little housekeeping here, I previously wrote a post about doing the A to Z's of writing a novel. I have rethought this because in doing my research on it, I ran into trouble finding definitions for all the alphabet characters pertaining to writing. Instead I will add posts on the elements of writing a novel without any cutsie alphabet order.
Meanwhile, keep on keeping on writing.