Tuesday, June 11, 2013

H'mmm, why do I keep on writing?

That is a good question and sometimes I truly don't know the answer.

Is it fun? No, it's work. You come up with a plot, the characters and have to weave everything in together. Is there a reason for everything that happens? Are there any boring spots? Does the dialogue move the plot along and reveal character? Are there any surprises? Will the reader want to keep reading to the end?

Do I make a lot of money? Ha ha. Maybe enough for a dinner out when the royalties come in.

Isn't it frustrating when you read about these other authors who are raking it in? Yes.

Are you even a little bit famous? Not really, though I do have some loyal fans.

Then why, for goodness sake, do you keep doing this? Several reasons. First, I love my characters and I want to know what's going to happen to them nexts.

The second reason is I love the writing community. I have so many good friends who have been infected by the writing disease and I love when I have the opportunity to hang out with them. It doesn't happen often, but oh, it is so much fund when I do.Third I love the readers who are fans of my books and have told me so--how could I desert them?

I love talking about the writing craft and helping new writers with their skills.

I even love the promotion part of it though it takes far too much time. 

And last, what would I do with myself if I didn't write?

Marilyn



10 comments:

WS Gager said...

Great reasons Marilyn! Strange how our characters become a real part of our lives...you just can't shut them up sometimes!
Wendy

Marilyn Levinson said...

Marilyn,
I agree with everything you say. Writing has helped get me through the months my husband was so sick. It gives structure to my life.

M.M. Gornell said...

Can't imagine life without writing. As you so wisely said, "And last, what would I do with myself if I didn't write?"

Madeline

Shalanna said...

AH, so you've been thinking along the same lines I have--great minds think alike, Marilyn! (LOL) And of course the Zeitgeist plays a part in what our minds turn to at certain times. Everyone seems to have decided that they not only want to write a book, but that they CAN, and so those of us who have been at it since writers had to use recalcitrant typewriters and had ink- and LiquidPaper-stained fingers are being crowded by all the "write a book and post it on Kindle" authors. (In another forum Marja pointed out that the write-post for $.99--write another authors are of a somewhat different species, in a way, because they don't expect readers to spend lots of time on their books . . . they're more like Chiclets than prime rib like more meaty fare. Still, we're in direct competition with all of them.)

Your reasons are great! I might add that when you are a creative person, you've got to have a creative outlet. If you ignore the Muse singing and don't write the Iliad, then you'll soon have to channel that energy (which is still struggling inside you) into some other activity. One of my friends crochets compulsively. She recently posted a cartoon about finishing an afghan and being totally at loose ends as to what to do with her life! Some people play a musical instrument; when I am prevented from working on my books, I have a greater need to express myself at the piano. Others can draw and will doodle all over the margins of every page they come across!

We may currently have smaller audiences and smaller fan bases than the big celebrity writers, but if our work is reaching even a few people who enjoy it and might learn ("gain wisdom" seems too extreme) from it, that makes it all worthwhile. Also, it keeps us out of the pool halls!!

Fiona McGier said...

Shalanna, the only reason I'm not in the pool halls is my husband gets embarrassed when I beat him all of the time! I grew up with a hall-sized table in my basement and learned how to play when I was finally tall enough to see over the table.

Why do I write? The stories need to come out, and once the characters live in a book, presumably allowing them to live in other people's brains also, they stop "yelling at me" in my brain! A brief recess, then another group starts talking to me about their lives.

Also, with 2 kids still in college, we need money from any source possible. They work multiple jobs and so do I. Unfortunately, having been an at-home Mom working minimum wage jobs at nights and weekends, employers feel that's all I can do now, so interviews are far and few between. Sometimes I get really discouraged, thinking that though I enjoy being with the teenagers I sub for, a trained monkey could pass out worksheets and show them videos, which is most of what I've done for 10 years. As for my retail job, once again, trained monkey.

My books are the only thing (besides my 4 intelligent kids) that I can point to and say, "A trained monkey couldn't do THAT!"
So even if the royalties checks cover only a cup of coffee, I'll keep on writing...and dreaming of being able to quit at least one of my trained monkey jobs.

Vonnie said...

Agree with all those, Marilyn. For me, too, it's a sort of compulsion (addiction?) since the age of seven. Unlikely to stop now.

gerrieevans said...

Marilyn, I love writing, too. But after years as a traditionally publlished author, in the autumn of 2010, I turned indie. I now make my entire living from my ebooks. You could, too, if you got your rights back. I wrote some instructions for my local writers' group on how to turn a novel into a kindle ebook. If you're interested, you'll find it on my blog: http://geraldineevansbooks.wordpress.com/category/eformatting/

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

It was great to have so many of you chime in on this topic. I'll write another blog, Gerrie, on why I'm sticking with my two small publishers.

jrlindermuth said...

What would be the alternative? Watching TV? I think not. Besides, if you please one other person, it's all worthwhile.

Glynis Jolly said...

I write because it's a compulsion. I've stopped for even a few years at a time, but I always come back to it.