I subscribe to Holly Lisle’s Writing Updates e-mail newsletter. Last week it posed the question, “What do you want to GET OUT of your writing?” To answer simply, I want to tell a good story.
Is that all? you ask. What a boring blog post. OK, here’s more about what I want to get out of my writing. I NEED to tell these stories. The first book in my series, Divided Heart, started as nothing more than the breath of an idea from a dream I had. “A young detective goes undercover to investigate a cult.” That’s it. I didn’t know what the cult was up to, I didn’t know anything about it’s members, or my detective. That’s it. That’s what i started with. The characters quickly (and I mean within the first hour of writing) took on a life of their own, took over my story. Characters I hadn’t even imagined magically showed up on the page demanding for me to love them and give them a starring role. I knew from the first hour of writing that this would be a series. The characters had stories to be told, the world had adventures waiting for them, and by the end of the novel I loved them too much to let them go after just one book.
That’s what I want to get out of writing my novels. What about other projects, for example, the poems and essays in my writing group’s anthology? Or even the ones that don’t make the cut? Again, because I have to. When I sit to write the short pieces, there is something in my heart and soul that is screaming to get out. Sometimes. Other times I sit to write and my mind is blank. Why do I write then? I love the act of writing. I love the feel of my favorite pen on a good piece of paper (Moleskine, I adore you!) When my mind is empty, I’ll write nonsense until something better flows, and it usually does. I write these short pieces because I have something to say, or because I want to entertain whoever might read it.
(A slight diversion…I said above I love the feel of pen on paper. Unfortunately I can’t write my novels longhand. I type much faster than I write, and my novels usually flow so quickly my hand can hardly keep up. When I go back to transcribe it later, I can barely read my own handwriting, so it makes the task far too time consuming.)
Finally, what do I want to get out of this blog? I want to share my love of writing, my love of animals, and other random thoughts (see Mix-It Mondays.) I want to get some structure to my writing life. I want something to force me to write several times a week (4 to be exact – or more.) I want to entertain. And I’ll be completely honest. I read about people who make enough money off their blogs to quit their day job and do it full time. That would be nice. But even if that never happens, that’s ok. Even if, 5 years down the road, I haven’t made a single cent from this blog, I’ll keep at it. Because I love writing. Making money would be a nice perk. It would allow me to write even more. But I will keep blogging, I will keep writing novels, until the day I die, because I have to. There are words in me that must come out. Stories to be told. Information to be shared.
I write because I must.