Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why do you write?

i iz hiding from monster  in closet

I've had a few other writers ask lately how I sold so many e-books. I promise I'll get to that in another post soon - or at least give my best guess - but first I need to back up and explore something a little more basic.

The first question I always want to ask other writers is: Why do you write?

You see, I write because I have to. Sorry to get esoteric on you, but the truth is I write because I am an emotional creature, constantly analyzing why people do and say things. I learned long ago that while I couldn't control other people and events in my life, I could neatly arrange everything on the page, make sense of it all and find the closure that simply doesn't exist in the real world. A control issue? Hmm, maybe. But I think it's more about expression, about sharing the human experience, about bonding, sometimes with complete strangers (readers - yay!).

While I'm sure there are writers out there who can neatly build plotlines from formulas and find success that way, I'd imagine a lot of writers are just people trying to make sense of the world. We're made, rather than born. Life beats us up and being the overly sensitive creatures we are, we try to heal those wounds by living through our fiction. We create heroes because we need them. We make challenges and provide our characters with ways to overcome them. Really, we're just people with deep souls, chasing demons. And winning.

I love to be alone for at least part of the day. I love to think. I love to create something out of nothing. And I love the way words sound. Most of all, I understand the impact words can have if arranged in just the right way. They can inspire, paint vivid pictures in our minds, and teach; they can also hurt. They can connect us, in both good and bad ways, and they can drive us apart. Words are powerful - and that fascinates me.

Writing - and by the same token, reading - help us better understand and cope with the monsters in life. Cheap therapy, if you will. So, that's what I've been doing - writing. For a looong time. Like ten years. Trust me, if you keep writing, you'll end up having written more than a few books and you'll get better with each one.

If you truly have the soul of a writer, keep writing. Don't worry about whether or not you'll succeed. Don't worry about how much money you will or won't make. Don't get discouraged by criticism or naysayers. Don't let fear or perfectionism paralyze you.

Just write. From you soul. Say something worth saying. Write stories worth telling, with memorable characters in extraordinary situations. Exorcise your demons. Be funny, be informative or be poignant. Be you. And share that part of you with others through writing.

Happy writing,


Hazel West said...

This is so true, and I don't think there's a writer out there who would not agree on this. Writing is how I channel emotion and I never feel quite right if I haven't written for a while. Writing, even if we share it with others, is always personal in a way. We write what we need to write and that's just the way of it!

Chris from NJ said...

Great blog. This reminds me of why I quilt...because I have to...I have to do something creative. I wish I could write stories, but although I can write instructions for doing science labs I can't write stories to save my life. I think I will stick to quilting and stick to reading your stories!

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Chris - You have no idea how often I wish I could sew something more than a button!

Hazel - I left out that writing and reading let us live vicariously, too. But yeah, it does connect us all.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I read. It gets depressing sometimes looking around at the world around me. So I read a book to escape. Better times and better people.