Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Do You Do What You Do?

Don`t fret folks, this is not some in-depth physiological probe into your inner child. At least, it certainly isn`t meant to be. This post is to help us recall the real reason we write. Sometimes, we authors tend to lose our muse, and the reason we started writing becomes buried under the weight of seeking things we never set out looking for.

Before I start flapping my gums about how I feel about things, let`s see what Uncle Steve has to say about this subject:

Granted, Uncle Steve may have made lots of money from his writing. Please keep in mind that when he started, he was a struggling teacher with a daughter born the same year he graduated from college. It was not always easy for Mr. King. So, if he didn`t have fame back then, why did he continue writing you may ask. You`d have to ask the man, but I kind of suspect it had something to do with wanting to make himself and others happy.

So now that we have some of Uncle Steve`s wisdom, let`s talk about you and me. Why did you start writing? I can tell you why I did. It was because I wanted to silence the voices in my head and make someone's day a little better. That`s it. Those were my two main reasons for writing my first book. I just wanted to make a reader happy. I still do. That is what drives me. The need to share this great story (or at least I think it`s great) with other people.

Please note that there is no mention of sales rankings, money, fame, or success in my original reasons. It has taken me some time to realize just who I am, what I want, and why I do what I do. Sadly, I have seen far too many good writers announcing that they are giving up because they no longer can find joy in writing because of mediocre sales. It breaks my heart to hear authors saying that, it really does. 

Perhaps when we find ourselves mired in the muck we need to step back, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves some tough questions--Where did the love of writing for writings sake go? When did writing stop being fun? Why does it no longer make me happy? Am I basing my success at my craft on the monetary gains instead of the spiritual rewards? 

If you are not happy with your work then a reader will not find joy in it either. It is evident when you love your story. The words glow, the characters come alive, and the romance shimmers like moonbeams on a mountain lake.

Take the time to confer with yourself. Find that inner author, the one who wrote simply because she/he had to. Try to forget about sales rankings, reviews, trolls, marketing and promo for a little while. Reconnect with the scribe that dwells within your heart. Once you find her/him again I suspect that you will also find the sheer joy that writing brought you so long ago.

So tell me, my fellow authors, why do you do what you do?


Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

I needed this post today, V.L.Thank you!

So often we find ourselves fretting over poor sales, reviews, promo, all that jazz, that we can't seem to find the time and passion needed to produce another story. It may take a little longer to flesh out the plot and develop our characters.

I starting writing because I felt a strong desire to tell a heartfelt tale. I wanted to inspire and encourage people not to give up on love. Life can get rough, and sometimes we need a light-hearted or mysterious tale to clear our mind of worry. In the past, if my stories touch one person, I've done my job well. You helped me remember why I write and how much I love it. I've been motivated over the past few days, but many times I do get discouraged. We're all in this together. New motto...Go with the flow of your heart.

V.L. Locey said...

I'm so glad this post helped, even if just a wee bit, Kathleen. I think all authors, heck all creatives, struggle with feeling low at times. May your muse sing!