I love making up stories. I love sharing them. All of the writers here on Magical Words feel the same way. But every now and then, the actual writing-them-down part becomes tiring. I’ve worked so long and there’s still so far to go. Discouragement tickles at the back of my thoughts, and I start to wonder why I’m doing this. There’s no guarantee my work will sell, no assurance that anyone will want to read it. Maybe all those people who said they liked the book were just being nice. Oh no, what if my publisher was just being nice by buying the first book? What’ll I do?? Wouldn’t it be simpler to go out and get an ordinary job, one that hands me a paycheck every two weeks and gives me weekends off? Those thoughts usually pop up when I’m feeling rushed about a deadline, insecure about my story or worried about bills. They’re compelling thoughts, the kind that could send me rushing out of the house to try and find a job, any job, even one that would ultimately deaden my brain. That’s a dangerous road to wander. So I’ve made myself a list of reasons to keep writing.
1. I need a reasonable excuse for spending money to go to cons. They’re expensive propositions, cons. The hotel room, and food in restaurants every night, and the travel costs to get there. (I’m not even going to talk about what I might spend in the dealer room.) There are fans who go to six or seven (or more) each year and I’m fascinated that they have the kind of money to do such a thing. Maybe I need to find out what they are doing for a living…
2. All those characters who’ve taken up residence in my head just won’t settle down until I let them have their say. It’s enough to bring on an epic headache.
3. I loved the feeling of seeing my name on the cover of a book, and I want to feel that again. The day my editor sent me three copies of my book ahead of the pub date, I wobbled between tears and maniacal giggles all that afternoon. Maybe that’s a little selfish, but we’re allowed to have those feelings, too.
4. No time clock, no overtime, and my boss even lets me take a nap if I have a headache from all those characters stomping around in there.
5. I can spend the whole day in a world I created, where everyone does what I say. Usually.
6. This is the easiest way to meet writers I admire. Walk up and introduce myself as I’myourgreatestfanOMGIjustloveyoupleasesignmyleftarm, and watch him run in the other direction. That tends to freak out even the most jaded reality show celebrity. But walk up to my favorite writer as I’myourgreatestfanOMGIjustloveyoupleasesignmyleftarmI’mawritertoo and…okay, I need to work on that one a little longer.
7. I can buy books and call it market research. I have to know what the market’s trending toward, right? And I don’t want to accidentally write what someone else already did.
8. I don’t have to follow a dress code. Some days I don’t even put on shoes.
9. People are waiting on the next book. They tell me so. Frequently. Which is very cool, and makes me want to type faster. There may even be cake for me when I finish this one.
10. I grew up loving books as if they were my friends. I started writing because I hoped to someday make a reader feel the way the writers of my childhood made me feel. When someone tells me how much she enjoyed my story, I know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
Why are you writing?