28 December 2006

What Keeps You Writing?

I'd post this as a discussion question tomorrow, but we'll be out all day. My question is this: what keeps you writing? Is it the storytelling? The world-building? "Meeting" exciting characters? The research? Having your own voice?

In essence, why do you devote yourself to this labor of love (literally!) at the expense of other enterprises, and especially when the task of getting published and staying in print is such a difficult one?

I'd give you my answer but the keyboard I'm using is wireless and wonky. Suffice it to say that, as a mother of two young girls, I need my space. Even in our tiny apartment, I can find a miraculous little escape hatch at the end of the day -- when they're in bed and I fire up my laptop. I'm also a show-off with a nasty "look at me" complex. I adore research and would gladly spend my days reading random books about olden times, so that comes into play, and I am an incorrigible romantic, ambitious, and a borderline control freak. What else could I do but write??

Happy new year to you all!

9 comments:

Christine Koehler said...

Hmm, you know I’ve never thought about that. Why do I keep writing? Because I hate leaving anything half finished? Because I know that the characters won’t leave me alone, as it was, until their story is told? Yes to both. Also, because I hate it when I’m in the middle of doing something totally non-writing related and I get an idea that won’t leave me alone. I have to write that idea down, which inevitable leads to needing to know more about the story.

Plus, seeing your name in print and saying – I did that? Coolness on many levels.

Sandra Schwab said...

If I stop writing, I get depressed. AND have nightmares. Definitely not good for the nerves. *g* And I simply love inventing new stories.

Marjorie Jones said...

Because if I didn't write, I'd have to go into therapy to deal with the voices in my head. Writing is actually less expensive.

I write because I have to. I hear a voice and I have to write it down or they will bug me forever.

Hugs,
M

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

I'm compelled to write - whether I like or not. If I go a certain amount of time without writing I can't sleep and I get ansy. If I still didn't write I'm afraid the people in white with straight jackets would come get me . . .

Eliza said...

I'm right there with the other ladies. I write for my mental and emotional health. It's become painfully clear to me that even if the hope of novel publication was taken away from me, I'd still write.

I can't function on a normal level if I don't find a few hours a week to work on a story. Mentally I slow down and can't concentrate on anything. If anyone wanted to punish me severely, they'd make it so I was unable to write. It's the only thing that staves off depression, even though my life is quite a good one.

But I love the mystery of creating a story. The pieces are always hiding, waiting for you to grab and put together properly. And I love it when the characters start telling me things about themselves. And I -love- the research.

Anne Whitfield - author said...

I'm the same as the other ladies, I have to write or go mad with the characters in my head, plus I love setting up their worlds. Researching is never a chore -unless I can't find the correct answers I want!

Vicki Gaia said...

I write because it's fun! It's so great when a story comes together, and when I can breath life into my characters. They become like old friends. It's rewarding to write a story that transports readers into another realm, and where they root for your characters. It's something I have to do or else go crazy!

Kim Iverson Headlee said...

I write because I am a writer. It's not what I do - it's what I am. Oh, I function in jillions of other capacities - what woman doesn't? - and some of those capacities I'm quite good at too. I spent a quarter-century as a computer scientist, for example, and even enjoyed the work, for the most part. I look back on the early days of that work and smile because I was worried that the computer work would stifle my creativity. Hah! It didn't . . . and couldn't. Nothing can, because I *am* a writer.

Anonymous said...

I can't not write. I could as easily stop breathing, but we all know what would happen shortly after. Same with writing. It's life.

These people in my head are my family and friends, my companions and confidants, enemies and acquaintances (I know, breaks the alliteration, but bear with me.) They are real and alive, and they happen to live in my head.