A conversation with a writer friend prompted me to ask myself why I write.
Is it for the money?
Oh, hell no! I have two books out and I doubt I’ve made $10 total – I know it hasn’t been $20. (A large part of the reason for low sales is that I don’t do nearly enough promotion. I have good reviews, though, so there’s that.)
For the fame?
See above. If no one’s reading (because I’m not promoting) then fame is pretty much non-existent. And as an introvert (to the point of being a hermit) I’m not sure I want fame. I sure don’t want to have to do public appearances anywhere. And my handwriting really sucks so I’m not sure a book signing would be a good thing, either.
So, then, why?
Why do I push myself to write and edit (and eventually publish, honest!) all of the books that I’m working on?
Because for as much as I hate it at times, I love it.
I love creating/meeting/getting to know characters and telling their stories. (For as long as I can remember I’ve always had stories in my head. I remember as a child thinking in third person, as if my life was a book.)
I love creating worlds and exploring them.
And I both love (and am terrified by) the thought of others reading the stories that I share. I love the idea that, perhaps, at least for a while, I can take others away from their day to day existence and give them an escape, another place to live for a while.
And I write because sometimes I need another place to live for a while.
And, who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to make it my day job.
But before I can do that I need to get more books published. I have a ton started and some almost finished, but with my current focus on Onyx Sun and the Academy of the Accord series they’ve all been on the back burner.
I see some authors who seem to have a new release every month or two and I wonder how they do it. (Granted, when The Academy of the Accord is finally released it will be at a rate of one book a month, but there will have been years of writing and editing behind the series. Hopefully not twelve or thirteen years, but still…)
Still, I wonder how they do it.
Then I realize that I do it all myself (except for covers). I write, edit, send to beta readers, revise, edit, format, publish…
And I do it while working full time. (Sometimes I am so jealous of those who can write full time, without needing to work around a day job, but since I am my own (and only) source of income…)
I also tend not to write short novels. (Science fiction and fantasy novels tend to be toward the top of the chart for average word count, due to the world building necessary.) Longer novels… take longer.
Do I wish I could stay home and just write? (And make a living from my novels?)
Of course I do! (I’m a hermit at heart, remember?)
Is it likely to happen?
But I’m not going to quit writing. I never even considered quitting.
I love it too much.
And that’s what it’s all about.
It’s not about money or fame or recognition.
It’s about doing what I love.