There are many reasons to write, and so many of us do it without thinking. The cards, recipes, emails, IMs, twitters, and shopping lists are but a few of the scribbles or button punches we make throughout the day. But that's not the kind of writing I'm talking about. You knew that.
Why do I write? Why do I world build and character mold and plot thicken? What draws me back, time and time again, to the screen and keyboard?
Could it be the life style? I can picture myself now, dapper sweater layered over turtleneck and lean velvet skirt, hair fanned out down my back like mahogany jewelry. A svelte laptop slung on a battle-worn table, the coffee rings scored deep into the wooden grain. A world-weary gaze settled oh-so-importantly on my brow...
Um no. Not me. I need privacy and silence to write.
Could it be the money? I won't even bother. Nathan did it for us already. I excerpted the bit below, but check out the post yourself.
Start with a $24.95 hardcover:
$12.48 to the bookseller (50%)
$9.98 to the publisher (50% minus author/agent share)
$2.12 to the author (10% of retail minus 15%)
$0.38 to the agent (15% of 10%)
Not a huge motivator in my world. Or any world.
Could it be the prestige? "You're an author? Really? Have you written anything I would have read? Oh. Guess not. Hey, would you speak to my daughter's class? You'd be an awesome show-and-tell."
You guessed it. Probably not.
I write because I must. Because when I'm not writing, it's what I think about. Even when I'm walking or driving or talking to people, I'm dissecting and planning and revising. It's second nature. It's in the blood. But not in a bad way. I don't foam at the mouth or sink into monosyllabic utterances when denied writing time. I don't pout or throw temper tantrums. It's simply what I prefer to do with my time and energy...and it's what makes me feel the most fulfilled. I've never known anything quite like it.
And you? Why do you write? It's for the money, I bet. Or not :)