Monday, September 15, 2008

Why do I write?

Since I'm hosting the Annual Euchre Championship of the Entire World* this Saturday, I won't have time to blog this week, so again I've scheduled blogs based on previous articles I've written or handouts I use in my workshops. I'll be too busy to report on my Weight Loss Challenge on Friday, but I'll be posting my new goal and deadline (hint: candy is involved).

So, to begin, here's some food for thought:

Why do you write?

Seriously. Why do you write?

It can be very easy to get away from the original impetus that spurred you to sit down and start writing and get caught up in other peoples' motivations for writing and their idea of success.

And that, my friends, can lead you to the path of burn-out and frustration, and perhaps even quitting writing entirely. You veer away from what inspired you to write, the thing that brought that first gleam of an idea to you, the elements that made writing exciting. When it was all about what thrilled you, not what somebody told you was supposed to thrill you and what targets you ought to aim for.

So let's get back to the beginning, the origins of you the writer. What made you decide to try your hand at writing a book in the first place? What are your general goals as an author?

Here's how my list would have looked back when I began:

I want to write a romance because:

1. I think it'll be fun. I like "battle of the sexes" stories.

2. I love reading; I've read a lot. I have a degree in English. I think I know enough about books to have a shot at succeeding.

3. At this point, I don't want to work outside the home, so if I can be successful (ie. sell this book), it could turn into a great job I can do it at home and therefore be with my kids when necessary (if they're ill, for instance). The best of both worlds!

I've succeeded with those goals. I sold a book, and then more, so I was able to have that career that allowed me to be home with my kids.

Why do I write romance now?

Because in spite of the bumps in the road and the changes in publishing (some of which have me feeling very Norma Desmond some days!), the writing itself is still fun, and I still love "battle of the sexes" stories.

Will I ever quit? I'm sure the day will come when I just don't want to deal with the business part of the writing anymore, or worry about reviews and PR, or I have too many other things I'd rather do with my time.

But it isn't here yet.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Margaret.

Best line, "But it isn't here yet."

Thank goodness!!!!!



Annette said...

I write for a lot of the same reasons you originally listed. I just wish I had started doing it a lot sooner.

And just to let you know, I'm currently reading A Lover's Kiss and am loving it! :-)

Amy Ruttan said...

Thanks for the reminder Margaret! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I write for the worst reason, according to all my writer friends.

To make money. And I do.


Margaret Moore said...

Thanks, Susanne, Annette and Amy! And lw, don't forget point three about having a job I could do at home. I wanted to get paid, too!