What compels me to sit down and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? I’ll admit there have been days recently when I’ve asked myself this question and couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation. Maybe at this point, I’ve done it so long that I lost sight of what I really should be doing with my life.
Over the past year or so, I’ve struggled. Every time I would sit down to start a new project I’d lose momentum and never finish it. I tell myself when I begin a new project that this will be the “one” but of course, it ends up collecting dust like all the rest. I’ve beaten myself over it, berated myself, decided I can’t possibly be a real writer and should find a new past time. Then I wake up with an idea for a great story and I start the process all over again.
“Why do I do this to myself?” I ask. I don’t have answers.
Do I do it for profit? Not likely. I’d have given up and moved on to something lucrative by now. Even if I managed to finish my books and publish them, I don’t foresee them making me tons of money. I’m okay with that. Money isn’t a motivating factor.
I’m definitely not seeking fame or glory. The handful of times I’ve encountered someone who has claimed to have read my book, I cringe in horror. Recently, my son mentioned that his 6th grade English teacher read it. At first I scratched my head and wondered how she even knew it existed. I certainly don’t go around telling people I know I’m a writer. “Did she like it?” I asked him, suddenly fearful about running into her again at the next school meeting. He didn’t have an answer so I like to think he was mistaken about the fact she’d even read it. My point being, I’m obviously not seeking attention for my writing.
Still, despite my fears of failure or inadequacy, despite my struggle to finish what I start, despite knowing I’ll never get rich from it – I keep writing anyway. I suppose we can call writing a passion, or maybe an obsession? There is a sense of joy and satisfaction I get from creating something new. I take pride in what I do accomplish. And heck, anyone who has published a book knows the magical feeling of holding that book in your hands for the first time and thinking, “Wow, I did this. My hard work and determination brought this thing into existence.” I’ll continue to persevere for no other reason than to feel that again.
I suppose when it comes down to it, the only reason I write is because quite simply, I am a writer.