I ask myself this question all the time, especially when I don’t have the energy to write a single sentence, let alone fill up a whole page to finish my current project:
The Last Merry Go Round
One day, not too long ago, when I had the time and even the energy to sit at my computer and finish a well-written scene—a question kept bugging me. Why do I write? Do I write out of habit? Do I write to create a best seller? Do I write with the vision of a movie option for my book? The questions kept coming, but not the right answer.
What I did was to step back. I took a few days off from my story. I needed to search for the answer–the right one for me (maybe for self-validation, or maybe because I was tired of the question following me around like an annoying gnat).
I thought: I’ve been fortunate to connect with amazing authors all over the world. The friendships formed have been supportive. We’ve shared samples of our projects and thought-provoking dialogs about the process of crafting on-fire-page-turning-can’t-put-the-book-down-fiction.
Further: What did we all have in common; whether just starting out like me, or established writers?
One word comes to mind: PASSION, especially about our characters, translates into the joy of writing!
Sure, a writer’s goal and dream is to publish their work, build their audience, and even manage to make a living doing what they love.
But, if the first sentence—to the last sentence–isn’t written with passion, then the story (I feel, as do other authors) falls F L A T.
What is this thing called PASSION?
A writer living in Australia I’ve been corresponding with for a long time put it simply: “Think of a book you’ve read. How long did the characters stay in your mind? Is this a book you told someone about? Is this a story you WISHED you, yourself, had written? If the answer is YES, then the author wrote with passion!”
I noodled over this statement–because it’s basically the way I’ve felt. The concept of PASSION ABOUT CHARACTERS shouldn’t be taken lightly.
This is why I write!
FOR ME: I love the creation of storytelling. I’m in awe exploring human dynamics. I’m fascinated by the complex, contradictory, confusion, erratic, surprising, hilarious, vicious, evil— the list goes on… The puzzle of why two people are in a room CHARGES my imagination.
Writing isn’t all about the correct placement of a comma. As I’ve had time to think about it, it’s the placement of the word–and not just any word–the word that will make the reader cringe, hold their breath, laugh, cry, or even contact me and say–– I really love the way you write. You’ve inspired me to write a story I’ve been holding on to forever.
Telling a story worth writing, worth reading, and better still worth remembering, I feel, has to do with the characters’ voices being real. THIS IS THE PASSION.
So … now I know, I can finish THE LAST MERRY GO ROUND knowing for sure, I’m a writer who lives to write. I figured out, if I always write with passion, then I’ll be able to say: writing allows me to live the life I want.