I talked with my wife last night about writing, life, books, and a few other things.
I told her something about a conversation I read on Twitter during that conversation. I’d find it, but I’m not sure who asked the question: Why do you write?
I’ve replied to this same question before, but I considered that I’ve written 11 novels with not a one in print and replied, “I want to see how the story ends.” I realized that’s my problem. That’s why I’ve written so many but haven’t done anything with them. I want to see how the story ends, and I don’t care about the book afterward.
It’s like reading a book when I’m writing. If I’m invested enough in the story, I need to know how it ends. But I do this with almost every story I’ve written. I enjoy stories, and I always have. There are days that I enjoy them more than others, but I enjoy them.
When I slip into that mindset of I’m not a good writer, or that I suck at this thing, I think of all I’ve written and say, “No, I’m good at this, I just haven’t had a break.” Then I write something new.
I don’t know if I’m alone in this. I hope not. It would be sad to think other authors are only writing to be published, not because they want to know how it ends.
After our conversation, my wife asked if I write for me or publication.
I thought about it. I wanted to be published and wrote with that in mind for the longest time. After collecting numerous rejections, I write stories for myself. I may edit them; lately, I do that to improve my story. It’s an outside decision. I never write with the goal of publishing, not anymore. I write because I like stories. When I get to the end of my own, I decide if it’s a story someone else would want to read. If so, then I clean it up for that purpose. Sometimes the editing isn’t as clean as I want it to be. That’s only because of monetary limitations.
While I would love a good editor, my wife and I don’t have the money for it. There are many days when I think about finding a good editor to show me where I’m screwing up, then I think about the money it would cost and won’t put my wife and me in debt to get published.
Back to the story…