Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top Eight Things I *Love* About Writing

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Why do writers write?  It's certainly not for the money. The major success stories are all we hear about, but they are actually so rare as to be laughable.  So why do writers write?

I think the answers are individual for each writer, but similar across many writers.  In honor of Valentine's Day, here are the top eight (8) reasons why I write:

1.     The creative process.  I love when I have a new idea in my head and I get excited about it.  I love to express those stories and put them on the paper for someone else to enjoy. The mental process of figuring out how to make a story work is fascinating and exciting.

2.     The escape. When I write, I get to create the world and events.  It allows me to be in control of how good (or bad) things are.  It rejuvenates me to face my own reality again. Writing is one of my outlets of stress relief; I can always make things worse for my character than whatever is going on in my life.  Whether directly related to my problems or not, my writing is exceptionally cathartic.

3.     The collaboration.  I love the opportunity (usually) to interact with other writers and discuss the craft of a story.  Sometimes it's hard to listen to what they have to say, but I know it's never personal.  Sometimes I just have a hard time believing their suggestions are better than what I thought, but they're usually right.  And if nothing else, they at least help me see my story in different ways, and that always makes it better.  I also love to help other writers figure out solutions to their problems or vice versa.  It's like a community puzzle with multiple solutions, and I love puzzle games.

4.     The opportunity for perfection.  Reality check: it will never be perfect.  I sometimes wonder if successful authors every read something they wrote after it's been published.  It drives me nuts that I always find something better to do with my story after I'm "done" with it.  But that also means I'm becoming a better writer, and I like that feeling.  Again, something I can control and always improve upon.

5.     The play with words.  As I've mentioned in other posts, I'm wordy.  I like words.  Actually, I have a love affair with words.  I love how they blend together both in your mouth and in your mind.  And I love coming up with that perfect combination of words that allows you to see my story.

6.     The invigoration.  I'm always rejuvenated after a good writing session.  I'm excited about my story, of course, but I'm also excited about life.  

7.     The accomplishment.  We as human beings are prideful, and that's not a bad thing as long as you keep it in check.  I love feeling proud of myself after I write an awesome story/chapter/scene/whatever.  (Inevitably, it never lasts long because my critique group lovingly tells me all the things that are wrong.  But at least I have those few moments.  And I appreciate their honesty always.)
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8.     The education.  I learn a lot about other people as I try to make my characters authentic.  But mostly I learn a lot about myself, and that makes my own life and relationships better.

So what about you?  What would you add to this list?