My publisher at Write Life, (In Good Faith) asked for a short essay covering “why I write” so I thought I’d list it here as well – the moral of the story is: don’t waste any writing.
I always wanted to write a book, create a book and be an (famous) author. As a child I created stories and novels as soon as I started to read them. My genre of choice was mystery novels – those yellow spine Nancy Drew mysteries, I read every one I could get my hands on.
In the Sixth grade I wrote a ten page typed mystery novel that far exceeded the perimeters of the assignment. I remember being so pleased with myself for the effort. The only glitch was when my mother typed it up, she noticed that my villain only showed up at the end, I needed to set her up earlier in the story. Did they do that in Scooby Doo? Yes, the cantankerous caretaker was always introduced early on. It was a good lesson in plot.
That same year I created a poetry project, a binder of original work. I LOVED that assignment, and I remember the illustrations to this day. I also remembered my grade; A for effort and an A- for detail, a harbinger of my future relationship with editors. I majored in English in college, ignoring my parent’s pleas to find a more practical major, and wrote a novel over one summer as an independent project. The novel was terrible, but still earned me the units I needed. That project showed me how much I loved the work of writing, that I loved being a novelist, in action rather than results. The point of this litany is that as early as I could, as soon as I could, I wrote: personal essays for the local newspaper, poetry collections and novels.
Like many writers, there is no other choice of work, nothing that gets me more passionate than writing. It’s not only what I do, it’s who I am. The summer I worked on this independent project was marvelous. I loved the work then and I loved the work now, it makes me happy to be creating a novel, I love creating worlds and messing around with words. I actually wore out my mac keyboard during NaNoWriMo this last November. So I think I’m just the typical compulsive writer so much so that I order up dirty martinis when the work isn’t going well. Give me another few years and I’ll start big game hunting.