Why I Write
Writing has never been and likely will never be about money for me. For one, I find most marketing techniques to be morally abhorrent. Secondly, I simply don’t possess the type of personality and drive required to turn a passion into a money-making endeavor.
It is, first and foremost, a means of expression, a vehicle in which to share ideas, create vivid scenes, craft compelling narratives, and entertain readers. I can’t act, sing, paint, sculpt, carve, or build. But I can write. I don’t even want to be the best writer out there; just the best writer I can be.
I was raised by books. My childhood was typified by neglect and uncomfortable situations. Books provided solace, companionship, hope for a better life, and - most importantly - education. I devoured histories with the same gusto as flighty fictions. When the outside world seemed unbearable, I could crack open a book and escape to another world.
Exploring such wonderful worlds fostered in me the desire to create worlds of my own. The opportunity to bring my fantasies to life on the page, to write the kinds of stories I wanted to read and share them with others who may also enjoy them, encouraged me to learn all I could about storytelling and the craft of writing.
While I have read quite a few craft books and attended seminars and classes by successful authors, most of my skills come from absorbing storytelling through copious amounts of reading. Even the hundreds upon hundreds of movies and TV shows I’ve devoured has contributed to my sense of pacing, plot, and character arc.
Some authors that definitely influenced my creativity include L.J. Smith, Lois Duncan, Francine Pascal, Margaret Weis, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Robert Aspirin, Laurell K. Hamilton, The Brothers Grimm, and Anne Rice. Books which have stayed with me and I’m sure have been absorbed into my writing include the Roswell High series, The Giver, Invitation to the Game, David Copperfield, Pride and Prejudice, Bullfinch’s Mythology, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and the Elfquest graphic novel series.
My reading interest varies depending on my mood. I’ve enjoyed everything from contemporary women’s fiction to literary sci-fi to fantasy satire to biographies. But fantasy will always be my favorite genre. Of the subcategories within that genre, I have a hard time choosing. In my younger days, nothing could hold my attention quite like a sword and sorcery adventure. As I grew older, my tastes pointed a little more towards YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy. It comes as no surprise those happen to be the areas my own work most often falls into.
I write because I love it, because I can’t stop the stories in my head, because a wonderfully crafted tale has always been a passion of mine. I started writing long before I ever thought to post it publicly, and I will continue writing as long as I am able. If something I create can provide a moment’s entertainment to a reader, if they receive some value from my words, all the better. My fondest hope is to give others what books have given me.
The stories we tell, whether fiction or not, humorous or serious, are our history, our culture, our lives preserved for the ages. They bring light in the darkness, confound, awe, and inspire, and carry knowledge to the next generation. They make us think and feel in ways we might not otherwise, and provide a shared experience across divides. They are - as with all art - a part of what makes us human. I want to be a part of that.
Do you write? What does it, or another passion of yours, mean to you?
Until next time,