Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Why do we write?
It is, so often, a thankless pursuit. Thankless, if you're counting on getting your thanks in the usual ways, that is.
Because sometimes that book you loved? Well, maybe an agent won't love it. If it even gets that far. Sometimes it'll flare bright for an instant and then burn out, like a shooting star you poured all your wishes into.
And that's okay.
Because that's not why we write, is it?
If you're in this for fame and for money, that's not smart. Sure, fame and money would be nice. Well, money would be nicer than fame, but if those are the only things you want out of writing, it's probably not going to happen.
What you need to get out of writing is this: personal satisfaction.
Whatever else happens with your book -- whether it languishes in a bottom drawer somewhere, or whether it gets published and people tear it to shreds, or whether the only people who ever read it are your own friends and family -- you're the one that counts in this equation.
Throw away all those fantasies of paying off the mortgage or attending the premiere of the movie based on your book, and remember why you wrote it in the first place.
Remember when that was just a germ of an idea. Remember how you nurtured it and watched it grow. Remember how you moulded it into shape and created something out of nothing.
That's why you write.
That's why we all write.
Because there is something in us that needs to create. There is something in us that believes the imagination is the most precious thing of all. There is something in us that believes stories are treasures.
There is something in us that wants to create and explore unknown and endless words and universes. There is something in us that needs that. Something that would wither and die if we didn't keep feeding it. Something wonderful.
Remember that, and keep writing.
Writing is its own reward.