When David invited me to make a guest post on the subject ‘Why I Write,’ I knew it would be difficult in the space allotted. This is mostly because I’ve been writing for most of my life and published for more than thirty years. ‘Why I Write’ has changed a bit during this time.
I started off writing because I had to. In school, from fifth grade on, a creative writing project was due every week or two, and each term, a non-fiction paper had to be researched and written. But I quickly realized I enjoyed word work; the fiction stories I wrote were popular—my classmates always asked the teacher to read the next episode in the doofus series with cliff hangers I had dreamed up. I also found writing poetry was a way to vent emotions and make statements about things around me. In high school and college, with so much required writing, an occasional poem was all I could squeak out.
Once married and with kids, you’d think my writing urge would truly dwindle. But it burgeoned. During those years I wrote for “escapism,” just as many people often pore over adventure/romance/fantasy books, watch soaps, or become cinema buffs. Most of what I wrote was poetry until, living 2,000 miles away from where I wanted to be, I began penning stories for my kids about the history and a part of the country they didn’t know.
At this time, I was also working for a community program for at-risk kids, and I realized how my renditions of history made them sit up and take interest. ‘Why I Wrote’ changed. I felt I had something important to impart to readers—about adoption problems of Indian kids in Michigan, bussing worries of inner-city kids, early settlement of blacks in the West.
Now I feel like I’m back to the early days, where I’m writing for my own gratification and for the fun of working with words. I ponder my manuscripts and search out the way to make phrases, paragraphs, chapters work to the best benefit of the overall piece. The fiction novels I recently put up as Kindle editions had been previously published and are still available in print. But I intend to publish new material: I have two SF works-in-progress, and I’m currently reworking two historical fiction novels. Historical fiction! Ha ha. Well, that shows I’m doing this for joy and fun, without concern for gargantuan sales.
I’m certain I’ll never stop writing, and I imagine my reasons for being a writer will often be swayed by different motives. First and foremost, I like words, and I like using them and blending them to create a aural/visual tapestry that others can enjoy. Improving my ability to do this is an on-going goal, and makes it imperative that I keep writing!
Thanks to Kay for sharing her thoughts ande experiences. Be sure to visit her blog, website, and Facebook page. Also, check out her Amazon Page to see a great selection of her available work.
As always, let’s hear from everyone else. Why do you write?