Why do I write?
It’s a question that I’ve been giving a lot of thought over the last few days. People write for different reasons. For some it’s catharsis. For others it’s communication. Some people have a clear audience in mind and others have no audience in mind, they simply have words which need to be said. Some writers want to explore complex ideas and emotions and some have no idea what they are going to explore when they sit down. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to approach a writing project with the possible proviso that finishing is always better than not.
I have come to the conclusion that I write because I love it. I write because there are stories. When all is said and done and on the page, I am finished and I move on. I don’t hunt readers because it isn’t about the readers. In a sense it’s a very selfish joy. I try to put each story on the page to the best of my ability. I consciously try to improve with each one I write. I complete it and I check it and then I let it out into the world to sink or swim on its own merits.
The joy is all in the writing, and it’s this joy that keeps me coming back time and time again to put more words on the page. Even in the difficult times, the wordless days. The moments when I have to pull my ideas kicking and screaming from my imagination or seek them out in the darkest corners of my mind.
It isn’t an easy job and it isn’t often a well paid job. It’s mostly a very heavily criticised job where everyone you meet feels qualified to give you a performance review, but it’s my job and I love it.
And Readers, before you leave feeling unappreciated, you should know that even after all this time I am still amazed, surprised and gratified by every single reader who takes the time and the trouble to read my work. It’s a gift I don’t demand and I never expect.