Why Do Writers Write?

My writing journey began when I was a scant eight years old. I clearly recall the thick, red, sticker-covered notebook on whose pages I set down my earliest stories. One of them featured two "Totally Hair Barbie Dolls" as main characters. (90's girls will know what I am talking about!) I was a precocious child, so another was about time travel to ancient Egypt and beyond.

As I matured, poems found their way into a journal with a kitten on the front, and onto school worksheets during uninspiring classes. In my late teens, I learned to properly craft short stories and set them in the glamorous, gritty underworld of Prohibition-era Manhattan.

My early twenties saw me writing my first two novels, with lady vampire protagonists, falling deeply in love while seeking spiritual meaning in their bizarre existences. Now I am working on historical fiction again, this time set in the 18th century, one of my absolute favorite eras, and I feel completely “at home.” It may sound unusual, but many writers will tell you that they meander through genres until they discover their specialty or “niche."

Non-writers frequently ask why writers write and what exactly it is that makes us tick. It is a question for the ages. I haven't the slightest inkling of what prompted me to begin writing, or why words excite me as much as they do. Nor can I explain why I feel compelled to create on a daily basis. Perhaps it is a matter of brain chemistry and genetics.

My father used to write and is now spending his retired days crafting wooden flutes. My mother bought me plenty of books when I was small that were read to me every night at bedtime, which undoubtedly helped cultivate my love of the written word. I happen to believe that all human beings are incarnate on this earth with at least one gift to share with the world, so maybe storytelling is mine. Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

While I will not pretend to know where the drive and ability to write come from, I can tell you what I enjoy about writing, and therefore, yes, part of my personal reason for writing. I love the magic of being swept up in a new story, discovering layer by layer the characters who inhabit it, the plot, and the theme. (Yes, I am more of a "pantser" than an "outliner".)

I play with words and arrange them until they accurately express what must be said. Like hot fudge over chocolate ice cream, writing is that special ingredient that takes my day from good to awesome. This magic pervades everything, like floating flecks of gold, caught in a shaft of sunlight. Problems big or small feel more manageable. There is a sparkle in my eyes when I discuss the WIP (work in progress,) and I feel powerful and accomplished, at the very top of my game, unstoppable. And then, there’s that sweet taste of victory when the project is finished and the knowledge that in time, another story will develop, and I will fall in love all over again.


That’s the best explanation I can give you. Write on!

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