When people ask why I write they seem somewhat bemused that my answer is simple:
I like to sit and laugh at my own jokes and explore the nooks and crannies of my rather bizarre mind. I love to create characters that bemuse, amuse and inspire… Simple.
In truth I love imagination. I love the fact that you can create really difficult situations for characters who are forced to explore, solve and endure. The next thing people ask me is how many books I have sold. Well I have no clue… I don’t actually care. Royalties turn up regularly and that is it. I don’t write the books for the purpose of making money. I write because of the intrinsic desire to create. I can not not write. I have tried not writing and for me that is like not breathing. I just have to do it. When I don’t write I feel sad and there is a burning desire to sit down and create.
The conversation often continues to a point where who I am talking to shares the fact that they have always ‘wanted’ to write. They have ‘thought’ about writing. They would love to write. They have dreamed of writing… Have you noticed the theme here? None of it is action. How difficult is it to sit down at a computer and type? This is where the mind comes in… The point that I am trying to make here is that writing is a true pleasure. The opportunity to sit in a creative space and pluck ideas from ether and transform them into stories is actually a gift and a joy. So why over think it? Get on with it.
I have noticed so many people find reasons why not to do something rather than why to do that same thing. It is during the ‘shall I shant I?’ writing moments that the inner saboteur and inner critic rise and assert themselves. The saboteur tells you you are deluded and that any literary aspiration is ridiculous. The inner critic shimmies in and points out every grammatical error that you have written in your first sentence. IT’S CRAP shouts the Inner Critic. GIVE UP! that Critic screams. Those particular beautiful archetypes are amazing, they reveal that you are on you path to change… Welcome them, accept them and keep writing… One of the most astounding patterns that I have noticed from people is even before they write their book they say ‘what if no one likes it?’ ‘What if it doesn’t sell?’
Erm write the book first. Enjoy the process. Take pleasure in the creation. Don’t even get caught up in that… I think the actual problem here is that people think that whatever they do creatively has to have a final outlet which results in money. If a person writes a book then they think it should be a bestseller. This turns the whole concept of creation into a pressure rather than a pleasure. With that in mind, why not take pleasure in the writing process? Simply allocate yourself time to write. Write for fun. Not everything in life has to sell. When a person plants flowers in the garden it isn’t to sell them to a market. Surely gardening is the pleasure in creating a beautiful garden. With that in mind, why not look at writing as the opportunity to plant a literary garden and allow those little literary plants to grow? The truth is the more you take pleasure in writing the more you find that when people read your work they feel that joy of creation…