This is a common question asked to writers, particularly those who are in creative writing in one form or another. One rarely hears about the poet who is writing poetry exclusively (although many of us wouldn’t mind such a vocation), and the vast majority of novelists, or short story writers, are and remain gainfully employed in an effort to support their passions.
Those few of us who have been lucky enough to write exclusively in one way or another (I spent many years in technical writing, through creating programs, quality systems, and technical manuals – which were often written for maintenance or training) are a rarity, to put it lightly. As I embark on a journey in the new and exciting world of publishing, I am cautious, if not entirely scared.
However, it must be said that gain never comes from idle hands. And so, with a couple of stories completed, I have found it to be time for the next stage in my personal evolution.
I have a background in various fields, having been trained in the military in various endeavors, from engineering to multiple physics disciplines, but even through all of that, I kept writing, I kept learning and honing my craft – indeed, everything I have done in life has been toward this goal – and now here I am, standing on a precipice, ready to jump, with only hope that I will fly before I hit the bottom.
But I’ve not quite answered the question, have I? The answer, for me, is really not all that difficult.
Because I need to. Because whether in poetic form or story form, what was inside of me needed to be released.
I tell stories, not because I want fame, glory, and riches (although I probably won’t complain about any of those), but because the stories exist within me, and require my assistance in being released from their prisons hidden deep inside the confines of my mind.
I write because I love creating images with my words. In the much the same way a photograph is worth a thousand words, I can create images within the minds of my readers, often with much less than a thousand words, and I can weave those together with other images, such that I can create an entire world we can visit anytime we open the pages of the story. I can create characters my readers will believe in, feel sorrow for, or might get angry with as they drag the reader along their personal journeys.
Where else might one be able to do such a thing?
At the end of it all, I suppose I write because it’s what I am. I’m a creator, a dreamer, a weaver of tales, or a bard, perhaps, of our current society, reflecting what my eyes see of the world around me in the words I produce, translating them into a work of fiction that is meant to highlight those aspects of life I so choose.