Monday, January 2, 2012
Why A Writer Writes
I thought about this recently, as I do quite often, as to why am I doing what I am doing. Sometimes I sit glaring at the computer wondering why on earth I am here. Will anyone read this? Am I wasting countless hours of my life desperately clinging on to some useless pipe dream of living freely as a writer. I call it living free, well, because most people work in jobs that enslave them. Jobs they hate. Jobs they can't quit. I don't want to be like that and I think writing is the only way I would truly feel free in the long run.
I always knew that I would want to write stories for children after I taught them. But what if I write something that doesn't mean anything to anyone? What if what I write won't leave the confines of my macbook or what if it gets lost and buried on Amazon? What I am really asking is what if I don't mean anything. What if my name gets lost and buried. Perhaps it will. Statistics say that this is a likely event. Does this mean that I should quit writing and smother the deepest most vital part of myself?
I don't think I could. Even if I were locked away in one of the dreary prisons I write about in my books, I would still find a way to write. I can almost see myself etching on the stone walls of my cell.
Real writers don't have a choice. They have to write the story inside. One way or another it will get out.
I am a firm believer that ever book has an audience. Finding that audience, this is the hardest part I feel. But even if I never find them I can hear Richard Peck's words ringing in my ear, responsibility to the word, to myself and to the reader.
I write first for myself and then for my future readers. Because I have a story to tell that only they will understand. Anyone who has been heartbroken, been in love, lost someone they love will understand. It will mean something to them. Every writer is unique and the story you tell can only be told by you.
This is also the very essence of why people read. They want something than can see themselves in––something they can relate to. And, by chance, solve the puzzle for ourselves of why we are here and what we are meant to do for the duration of it.