Monday, February 2, 2009

Why Do You Write?

This month we're going to focus on why we write. You may be wondering why I saved this topic until after we set writing goals. Well, I'm sneaky.
That's right. Sneaky.
I knew if you thought too much about why you write, you'd fall into one of two categories. You'd either be pumped up to write more, or you'd become paralyzed and not write at all. And I didn't want to lose those wonderful writers who fall into the latter category. I wanted you to have the goals set and be actively working on them before I started probing around in murky waters.
So...why do you write?
For me, there is no easy, pat answer. I have gobs, tons, oodles of reasons why I write.
  • I love entering a world of my own creation where I get to make anything I want happen.
  • I want to make sense of the real world by creating an alternate world.
  • I want to touch people with my characters.
  • I like to type. (I'm serious. Shoot me.)
  • I enjoy making stories up in my head about people I see on the street.
  • I love the challenge of piecing together a book and analyzing the end result.
  • I love to read and want to emulate my favorite authors.
  • I want to see my books on a bookshelf.
  • Writing satisfies my creative hunger.

The list goes on and on....

Why do you sit down and write? What about the process do you find enjoyable? What's your favorite part of writing? Least favorite? At what point in a project do you freeze and stop writing? At what point in a project does the material fly off your fingers?

I hope you think about these questions because they'll give you insight about your strengths and weaknesses. It took me a few books to realize that I always convince myself I'm the lousiest writer on earth when I hit the middle chapters of a new manuscript. Once I identified that, I could give myself a pep-talk and work through it.

I'm going to share with you what goes on in my head when I hit that wall.

"Why am I the worst writer in the world? I can't think of another thing to write. I thought this book would practically write itself and now I can't even get past page 70. The keyboard is mocking me. The computer screen is laughing. All the chocolate in the world could not induce me to write this book. How dare I even think of myself as a writer?"

I believe in exaggerating as much as possible even in my head. I don't want to bore myself.

Here is the corresponding pep-talk.

"Stop whining. You go through this with every book. At the same point in every book. The first chapters race out of your head and then you need to flesh out the middle part. Get out some paper and begin writing down the conflicts and possible scenes. Where does this book need to go? And go get some chocolate, and a soothing cd, and light a candle, and, for goodness sake, pour another cup of coffee!"

So that's a snippet of my brain. Scary, huh?

I know.

Join me on Wednesday when we will discuss the great aspects of writing.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!

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