Money – Let’s face it. Most people are voracious readers who can’t get enough of aspiring authors. And considering the average eBook retails for 99 dollars a copy…wait a minute. I think I forgot the decimal. Right. Sorry. Not money. Sure it seems like a plan at first. You own a computer. You have an imagination. But, becoming an author means putting yourself through an informal education more intense than therapy with Ayn Rand, starting your own business starting with only a toothpick on your list of assets and selling your soul after a careful and thorough market analysis – in whichever order makes most sense at the time.
Fame – No, I think I pretty much made the point with the first reason. You can’t write to become rich and famous. That would be nice…maybe…but, it won’t get you from the moment the idea first lands in your lap that you could be an author to the finished product of an actual novel plot and chapters.
Immortality – Now we are getting somewhere. There will be a record of my creativity even if only my friends and family read it. My grandfather wrote poems and printed them. I’m glad he did. After he died, I felt I knew him. And I felt I knew him in a way that I never could have experienced if he hadn’t been an amateur poet. I want the people I know to feel that way about me, too, except regard me as being more talented.
Revenge – Admit it. Everyone knows someone that they’d love to run over with their car, but only writers can put the people under tires without guilt or jail time.
Love – I love people. No lie. I write to entertain. I loved the stories I grew up with that took me away from my troubles and helped me find the courage to face the worst circumstances. Life requires great bravery, but first we have to imagine what that looks like. Maybe that’s why we love flawed characters in books. They convince us – not that flawed people can succeed – but that flawed people are worthy people. They are lovable people.
Hope – Yeah, okay, not the hope of a fantastic income, but in the pursuit of any creative process, I find myself feeling increasingly more and more hopeful. I begin to believe in positive outcomes. Even as my characters suffer and die, I find my hope renewed. I keep typing, because it becomes routine, but by becoming routine, it forces me to accept that what I am doing can and will have purpose. Or I would have to stop. But, I can’t, because it is routine. I have no choice. I have to believe.
Philosophy – Sure it’s a bit of a wild card for this particular list, but I don’t mean a personal philosophy. I write because I was a Philosophy major during university. I have a passion for logic and ethics. I spent years reading ancient philosophers. Writing gives me the chance to share the things I love most and one of the things I love the most is mental masturbation.
Coffee – Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. What do you drink when you’re writing? Coffee. Where do you write? Coffee shops. What do you write about? People who drink coffee. I admit it. I am a one dimensional coffee obsessed author. In my current novel, coffee has been genetically manipulated to transform people into Jinn and thus make human immortal.
Since I started writing, I can’t imagine anything I would rather do with my spare time. I often meet people who tell me that they want to write and ask me how a person writes a book. I don’t honestly know the answer to that question. I do know that writing has brought me closer to good friends and gives me a passion for the ordinary details of life.
I know it’s not fair for someone to enjoy anything as much as I enjoy writing (and coffee), but I believe our short lives are made more meaningful by sharing them. Writing has not made me gobs of money, but it’s brought all the things into my life that I could never buy and could not live without. And it’s removed things from my life, which I am better off without.