No, this isn’t some foray into self-doubt. The question is semi-rhetorical.
The purpose of asking myself this is simple: It’s worth remembering why. It’s only been a few months since I started writing full-time but I think this is something very, very easy to forget with everything that has changed.
In life, and in writing, you need to get back to center sometimes. So… Why am I writing?
The money is great. But it ain’t about the money. Making a living from my book is pretty sick. It’s nothing short of a dream. But if it was about the money, I’d hate writing in short order. It’s like turning your favorite food you eat everyday into poison. I’d rather work some other job and write for fun and secondary income.
Getting recognition is awesome. Having people tell you how much they love the story and appreciate your success is nothing short of every writer’s dream. But you can’t live on that alone. If there’s anything that life’s taught me, it’s that happiness should never be dependent on the opinions of others. It can’t be, really. Because they are not you.
Don’t get it twisted–having readers tell me they loved the book and can’t wait for the sequel, it’s unreal. It’s beautiful. Truthfully it is probably a majority reason of why I write, why most writers write–to share their stories with others. But it is not the core, the seed that grows in all writers.
The real reason I write is this: I love the stories I create. I love to see the world and the story become real for me (and in turn, for readers). I write because I’m selfish, because there is a story inside me I want to see, I want to record it permanently, write it in stone and make it something more than what it is–just words on a page.
I write because I get inspired. Because I read other books and remember great stories and video games and movies and they fill me with this joy that wants to come out in some story of my own. I write because I want to improve, I want to become an even better storyteller, because I want to inspire others to think about their own lives and write their own stories the way other stories inspire me.
That’s why I do this. And that’s the shit I need to remember when I have days that I just roll around my apartment saying “what’s the point?”
You already know the point, asshole. Just walk back to center and find it again.