Thank you Charming Man for asking me to do this Blog Hop. Pay Charming Man, also known as A S Wilkins, a visit to see why he writes! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his comments on this subject, and more besides.
I too have been asked a number of times to explain why I write. I have even wrote poetry about why I write! It does seem to vary from writer to writer but ultimately we all seem to have the same goals in mind: we have something to say, we have a shared enjoyment of forming stories and we wouldn’t mind one day seeing our words on shelves.
I have written professionally since my early twenties and now in my early thirties… well… you get the picture. My words had been out there for years before I began writing creatively. When I first started getting paid for writing, I thought it was such a novelty because writing has always been something I have enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t ever get paid much for writing. Not unless you drop lucky with the right thing at the right time. Those stories are very few and far between. Apparently the average novelist earns about £11,000 a year but that is of course an average. I earned more than that writing TV magazine features.
Why I write? I guess writing is installed in me like WiFi is in nearly every home in the land these days. I was told from a really early age that I could write and I knew that how I felt when I wrote was what made it special, because… this is where it is hard to explain… it feels good to write and it feels, basically, REAL. It’s hard to put it into words even though I am meant to be a wielder of words! LOL. Like I said, so many teachers actually sat me down and said with a restrained smirk, “You do know you can write?” I would sit and gawp, inwardly think they were deranged, and ask, “What do you mean I can write?” Then they would say, “Not many people can write.” Over the years I got to realise exactly what they meant because the formation of sentence structure and all that is really a struggle for some whose brains are wired differently, but obviously my brain is wired toward words. Don’t ask me why. I know I am certainly not wired properly in other ways… not that I am crazy! Okay, maybe just a bit! I just can’t sing and I don’t think I will ever be able to draw.
My story began on maternity leave. I wrote a sci-fi series with a baby attached to me. It was an idea that had been brewing in my mind for so long and when I gave birth, it brewed some more and when my daughter began sleeping, it got put down on a page. Writing those books was like breathing, to me, and not writing them was not even a possibility. I had to write those books. Even when I went back to work, I found time to write. I made time. It was hard but I enjoyed it so much. Whenever I finish a novel, I think, “Not again, not again,” but if an idea starts to brew and I start to think about where I could take it, that’s what pushes me on to write again. So I guess one of the essential reasons I write is that there are always paths to venture down and you never know where you may end up. I like writing stories a little differently, sometimes… testing what I can and can’t get away with in terms of exposition. It’s the pattern and the puzzle and the arrangement I like. That’s what I can get involved with, anytime, anywhere. That’s how I know wherever I am, whatever point in my life I’m at, I’ll always make time to write even if it’s just a few paragraphs each day. Because it’s having that chance to explore and play with words—and that is something I truly, truly love.
One thing I will say is that it took me a long time to snap from journalist to creative writer. As a journalist you are taught to shed all the nuances of your writing and to hone everything so that you present the details in as few words as possible. That was a hard thing to learn and to some extent, I had to unlearn that when I came to writing novels. Writers are told they should start small and work their way up from say short stories or poetry but I honestly just had this story in my mind that was so big, I had to get it down and there was no build-up—the result a 100,000-word beast that was my first novel and my first creative outing too.
My latest book features a journalist. She is happy enough to plod along until someone says, “You know what? You can do better.” I think writers write and continue to write according to response and approval, too. Many writers would argue they only improve through their readers and from feedback. That is why I think writers just have to keep writing and why every word counts, because it could lead to a monumental paragraph or sentence, even. If you stand there thinking, Shall I pick up the pen? you probably never will. I know that I wouldn’t have kept writing novels with such verve unless I’d gotten such positive feedback. Some people have even come to me after reading A Fine Profession and said, “I am going to change my life now after reading that.” Some books aren’t easy books but you just know that it feels right to write, at that point in time.
I now hope these three authors will tell us more about why they write. Find out more about their writing here:
Traci Sanders: www.awordwithtraci.com
Stevie Turner: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/
Blake Rivers: blakerivers.com
Sarah Lynch is attending the Orchard Book Signing in March next year. Visit their website for more details… http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/orchard-book-club-author-event-ball-tickets-11853288505