Pppssst… Hey, you!
Yes, you. Come here! I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Being an author is hard.
Yes, I know you’re familiar with the difficulty of filling a blank page on a daily basis, trying to concoct something engaging and new, but are you aware of everything else that’s involved? You’ve got to choose whether to publish traditionally or independently, to decide how to build a platform, to engage in marketing and promotion…
Uh oh. I can see I’m losing you. Let’s just say, there’s a lot involved in being an author; much more than the actual writing. So much more that, at times, it can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry—there’s a way to combat that sense of being overrun. All you gotta do is remember what drew you to writing in the first place…
Huh? Sorry, I got caught up in my thoughts. Repeat your question, please.
Why did I start writing? That’s easy: I’m in love with stories.
My passion for them began when I was young. I found a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis, in the school library when I was ten, and I was instantly addicted. The magic of being transported from my normal life to an extraordinary realm infected me, and the only cure was to consume regular doses of story for the rest of my life. Through the characters of books I have learned courage, generosity, nobility of spirit, and all of the other traits I aspire to embody. I have also experienced the negative qualities I hope to never possess. I have experienced sights unbelievable and journeys improbable and, through them, learned how to face my own monsters, to overcome my own fears, and to cling to hope when all seems lost. My lifetime exposure to story has filled me with wonder and awe, and I am forever in debt to the authors who built those worlds I played in and who created those characters I loved as well as any best friend.
To this day, I am in awe of any story that can take my breath away. However, one can only hear of the magic found in distant lands for so long without experiencing the need to travel to exotic locations and to experience great adventures for oneself. It is only natural for a child grown on stories to long to experience their magic thoroughly, in greater detail, by writing her own. When that longing becomes so strong it is like an ache in her chest, a dull pressure against her heart that makes it hard to capture a complete breath… well, there’s no denying that call. When it comes, all she can do is give in, grab paper and pen, and set out on a journey of her own. If all goes well, she’ll enchant a few readers along the way.
Oh. Heh. I must have gotten carried away. You were saying…?
Yes, that’s why I write. Even though it can be hard, I can’t deny the longing. And yes, it is very much worth the struggle.
What about you? Why do you love stories? Or, if you write, why? I’d love to hear your motivation in the comments below.