I’m glad you asked. Because I get that question all the time. I get it from the people lined out the door for my book signings. I get it from stars of stage and screen who are having their people look into my novels for possible projects down the road. But, mostly and honestly, I get that question from my own mind. Not my subconscious mind. It gets me up at 4 am to write. But the woke and worried mind that the world is more comfortable with.
Of course there is no “one size fits all answer”. I could do any eye catching, scan friendly bullet point blog. It could be called “7 Reasons Why I Write” They are said to be popular and an excellent format to attract readers. Not today.
There is the option of a bullet point post of the contrasting informative intent. Something along the lines of ‘7 Mistakes Writers Make”. Also, not today.
What else was in it for me? Just to say I had done it? To look back in 20 years and then understand why I did it? That made as much sense as anything to me standing in the kitchen of a stranger’s house in Louisville.
The excerpt is from Jay in Back outta the World. It captures so much of what I like about revising BotW, after first completing it over two decades ago. I am having a great time looking back at me. Through that process, I am getting a clearer understanding of who I was, and who I am now. I do believe the newer me is writing a better BotW than the one I wrote two decades ago. This can be quite a humbling process, which in turn creates a nice vantage point to remind me not take myself too seriously.
The second answer I give to my adoring public as to why I write is that it is fun! Why not? My writing process is not a gut wrenching process. I do not spend hours searching for the perfect word. If I still used paper to write, I wouldn’t fill a waste basket with rolled up pages of discarded manuscript. I am not saying it easy. I think it would be more accurate to say that one cannot be taught to write, but you can learn how to write. I did that by clearing my mind. I began to understand and notice my subconscious mind. I trust it to supply me with what I need when I set down to write. It usually works. In this way, my time actually at the keyboard is productive. I am usually “in the zone”, having done most of my writing during yoga, mediation, on the cross-trainer or even while driving.
By now, I am sure, you have answered the question yourself. And, I am sure they are completely different from mine, as they should be. Write how you write. You have no choice anyway, just remember to have a little fun along the way.
“May I help who’s next?”