Year One: Part Two - Why I Write
Writers Write, it’s what they do…
I learned a long time ago, there’s no such thing as an aspiring writer. You’re either a writer or you aren’t. This last year has just helped to reinforce that notion. For years I had ideas I’d kick around in my head and always just tell myself I’ll get to them someday, but I wasn’t getting to them and something was definitely missing from my life.
There are a number of reasons someone might write: school, a job, for pleasure, for money, but for some of us, it’s a compulsion.
I’ve been writing since I was very little. When I was nine years old I created a twelve-page comic called Super Simon and Ralphie and their battle with Dr. Claw. Since then it’s been poetry, prose, screenplays, real comics, and even technical writing.
Like anything that’s a passion or a calling, writing is something I have to do. I actually find myself getting cranky or even borderline depressed if I’m not creating something. Whether it’s actually writing, outlining, revising, or just staring at the ceiling creating a new story while I should be sleeping – yes, it literally keeps me up at night, I have to be working on something.
My audience is very specific and maybe a little selfish – I write for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write what I hope others will like and to be able to build an audience of people who like my stories and characters as much as I do, but say I write for anyone other than me would be a lie. (I did write Shady Place for my parents, but I chose to write it first as a tribute to them, it was a story I’ve wanted to write for over a decade.)
But that’s how it’s supposed to be. If I was given prompt and a deadline, I could probably bang out something pretty decent, but it wouldn’t be genuine and that might show in the work.
If you love it, it will show. If you love it, odds are you will actually finish it. And if I have learned anything from my first year of publishing it’s that people can’t like your work if it doesn’t exist. I’m also pretty sure they won’t like it if you don’t…
For me, getting over myself, my concerns that I wasn’t good enough or my work wasn’t good enough, was the hardest part. I like what I write, I like my characters and my stories. If I put my heart and soul into what I write it will show and it will find an audience.
It's true of anything – if you are passionate about it, it will show, and the work will be better for it.
What drives you? Are you doing it, even if it’s just for you or just for fun?
What’s holding you back?
If you’re not, and you can answer those questions honestly, maybe you can get past it and follow your passion.
I did, and I do, everyday.
Next week I’ll be back with my thoughts on inspiration and just how to pick what to write.