If I asked myself why I write, the only answer I could give is that I need to set free the stories that haunt me. If I don’t write them they keep coming back and dance at the edge of my imagination. I like to be haunted by them, but I also like to see how they end. When the stories are doing their haunting-thing it is usually only the middle bits and I always want to know more.
If I asked myself why is it important that I get them published, well that’s a question I don’t find so easy to answer. It feels like I just want to share them with others. I enjoy them, so I think others will too. In a genre where it is considered a ‘good sale’ if you get $20 for your short stories I can definitely say I’m not doing it for the money. I just want them to be read by other people. It’s like giving them life again.
I sometimes wonder if I quit writing would it all go away? I’m not just talking about the haunting, but the guilt when I don’t write, the desire to share my ideas, the joy at watching a character develop. Could I be satisfied with a life bereft of those things? I don’t think so, I’m certainly not willing to try it.
Will I one day find a balance between doing what I love and earning a living? I hope so. I don’t want to have to wait for retirement to get the bulk of my writing done. Often the most important things are only gained through risk and sacrifice. I think it might be time for some long, hard thinking about what is important…