Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why do you write?

By KD Rush

What do you need in order to make your life seem complete? Is there a single goal to accomplish, perhaps a lifelong dream that you need to achieve? If fame and fortune are on your bucket list, then I wish you luck. You’re going to need it, especially if you plan to accomplish this as a writer.

I know. You’ve heard it all before. Being a writer is hard work and the pay sucks. Why do it then? Do you think you’re different, that your stories are better than some of those on the bestseller lists? Have you already picked out the Ferrari that will whisk you from one book signing to another? In the immortal words of Aerosmith, dream on.

You probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning than writing a bestselling novel that will generate the type of income to buy a luxury sports car. So, I ask again, why even bother?

That’s always been an easy question for me to answer. I write because it’s a dream of mine to publish a novel. It’s my dream, and it’s not dependent upon anyone other than myself. Even if my book(s) don’t sell, then I will still have succeeded in accomplishing a lifelong goal.

If you write for a different reason, or hope to make an income out of it, that’s fine; but you should at least know why you write.

A relative of mine, at a recent family gathering out of state, asked what I had been up to since we last saw each other. It’s a typical question tossed about between people separated by time and distance, and I should have been prepared for it. I wasn’t. Without even thinking about it, I began to describe my dream of writing a novel, even going so far as to give a synopsis of some of the stories I’m working on.

It was great being able to share my adventure with someone that is an avid reader. What I didn’t expect though, after ten minutes of describing what the stories were about, was a puzzled look followed by, “Yeah, but why do you want to write?”

I thought I had mentioned the reason first before launching into my book report. Thinking they must not have heard me, I told them again, “Because it’s always been a dream of mine to publish a novel.”

No, they heard me the first time. They understood that it was a goal, but they wanted to know why. “Why is writing and publishing a novel your dream?”
I was stunned. That’s the first time someone has ever asked me to detail the reason for writing on a subconscious level. And it really was subconscious, as I can’t remember giving it a passing thought. Yes, it’s a dream, but why? I didn’t have an answer at the time, so, I told them I would get back to them on it. It’s not often that someone leaves me speechless. I didn’t bother telling anyone else at our family gathering what I’ve been doing for the past year.
The question was on my mind the rest of the day, and the next. With an eight hour car trip home I figured I would eventually come to a conclusion with that much time to think. I didn’t.

It wasn’t until later in the evening when I crawled into bed and opened the iPad to the current book I was reading that the answer finally came to me. The book, Death of a Kingdom, by M. Edward McNally, is the second in The Norothian Cycle series. About three quarters of the way through the story it suddenly occurred to me why I’ve always wanted to write a book. Not for fame or fortune, but for the emotion. That feeling you get when you’re reading a really good book, can’t put it down, need to tell someone about it, the wow factor.

The reason I write is to give that feeling to others. I want to take them on an adventure they will never forget. So, I ask you again. Why do you write?

KD Rush is a "writer on a journey of self discovery, chasing a dream. WIP: The Guild Inc., a supernatural thriller."
This post was originally published on KD Rush's blog, The Rush Room. Visit the blog, and follow him on Twitter @KD_Rush.

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