This one goes out to my writer peeps…
Why do you write? Do you feel you have something that just has to be said? Are you all about book sales? Why even bother?
Writing is another form of art, like painting, screenwriting, or music, among other artistic pursuits. There is a commercial aspect to it, including publishing to sell works and producing for commissions. However, most of us produce literary works in hopes that an audience can be built to a point where a lifestyle can be sustained. Alas, this is an impossible dream for too many of us.
I am most familiar with the music industry, having produced music for quite a bit longer than I have been a writer. The two industries are remarkably similar. There are a million bands out there who have great players and powerful original material. The bands who eke out a living work endless hours practicing, promoting, and traveling, often seven days a week. The lucky few that make it big are more a function of luck and positioning than talent. There is no set formula to success – if there was, it would happen quite a bit more than it does. What keeps this myriad of musicians striving for their dreams?
The answer I’ve seen is that these people cannot imagine their lives without music. They do it because that’s what they do. The same is true of writers, for the most part. They spin stories of fantasy, wonder, and desire, sometimes creating complete worlds that are extremely detailed and compelling. This creation takes talent and dedication, and there are many times when it seems more rational to find another vocation. Fortunately, these bouts of fear and doubt are usually fleeting, and they continue on, dreaming of success but understanding how unlikely it would be.
Personally, I’d love to be successful at writing for a living, but I’m also quite realistic about the chances of success. I’ve been a part of four music albums that haven’t registered a blip on anyone’s radar other than family members, and I have no illusions that my writing will accomplish anything more. I write because it’s fun, and I think I’m fairly good at it. It also helps me convince myself that I’m not an Impostor. That’s good enough for me.
Why do you write? Please leave a comment so we can chat about it…