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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why Do You Write?

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts.

You know, it dawns on me that many of us who are writers are probably going through much the same kinds of trials and tribulations: there are those who pound away at the keys, hoping to complete their novels, but not entirely sure that they’re ready for public consumption; there are those who have a completed manuscript, but are struggling to land an agent who will give them the chance that their work needs; and there are some, like me, who already have a published novel in the marketplace, but struggle getting the word out.

Now, I didn’t write this post in order to enact some sympathy. What I really wanted to do was hear how others are handling whatever part of the game they find themselves in. This isn’t about me, it’s about us.

Why do you write?

I ask myself this question, too. I love to write. I have many stories that seem to want to come out of me. My problem is I don’t have enough time to do everything. I work eleven hours a day. It’s a day that begins at 3:00 am with the alarm, 4:00 am in the office and one which doesn’t end until about 3:00 pm. Considering that I need to get to bed at about 8:00 pm, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for the fiction writing that I do, the blog posts I do every week, the articles I write for a local magazine, plus housework and relationships with my wife and teenage sons. I’ve been attempting to do it all since I started so late in life (this began after 40 years of age), but I can’t possibly keep this up forever.

How about you? Are you writing because you love it and can’t dream of giving it up? Are you writing because you are trying to live the dream of being published?

Thankfully, I wrote the sequel to Dance on Fire while I was going through the process of editing and preparing it for publication. It is titled, Dance on Fire: Flashpoint. Soon, I will have to make some difficult choices. As I write this post I have yet to receive my edits, but they will be arriving any day now. When they do, I am going to have to clear some time for making those corrections, as well as to do some rewriting that my publisher and I have discussed. When that part of the job has been completed, I will need to immediately turn my attention toward writing the next novel.

What difficult choices have you had to make? Can you see some point of decision on the horizon which will cause you to hit the brakes and head in another direction?

I’m not as of yet sure what my next project will be. I have a third book in the Dance on Fire series that I would like to begin writing; however, having lived with these characters for twenty-plus years, I would very much like to venture off the beaten path and go in another direction. It would still be horror, but it would have nothing to do with vampires. Yet, that brings us to another point of decision: do I have a choice what I write next? Perhaps either my publisher or my audience will dictate what is next. Were I Uncle Stevie (Stephen King), I could do whatever I wanted, because of the sheer size of my audience. I hope I get to choose my next project. On the other hand, being forced to write book 3 would be a good thing, wouldn’t it? It would mean that my audience is growing and demanding more… *sigh*

There’s so much to consider.

We’ll talk soon.


  1. because it's the only way to stop my head from exploding with all the voices and characters stuffed in there ;p
    Damsel in a Dirty Dress

  2. I really marvel at how much you do and still manage to produce excellent novels!

    Why do I write? Well the first book (working on sequel now) i wrote because I had read that gothic romance was dead. I decided to prove that wrong. I hope i did and will do as time goes on.

    I think a book takes a while to really find a place for itself.

    The sequel Vamplit Publishing suggested. I am working on that now and it's tough.

    I am writing it in order to expand upon the original story. Eco is featured in it, remember him?

    Sorry, I've rambled a bit and will now answer your question more succinctly: WHY DO I WRITE?
    I write to please myself, because I need to get 'stuff' out.

    I write to please readers, I write the kind of stuff I want to read.

    I want also, truthfully, to gain readers. I want to carve out a name for myself.
    It's hard and it's far from lucrative--but it spurs me on--this need of mine.

    Of course I don't have the huge responsiblities you do, Jimmy. I am sure my answer would be very different if I did.

    So that's it really, I write because I feel I must. I don't think I can stop.
    The word, 'driven' comes to mind.
    I hope you do continue to write btw because you are an exceptional writer

  3. It's an ego boost for me. I love to write and create, but I love to hear someone say they liked what I wrote even more. Besides, If I don't get the stories and voices out of my's going to explode lol.

  4. Hi, Nicole. I love the voices in your head line. Of course it's better when it's your head where the voices are speaking and not mine!! Lol! I don't know that I have that. I just have some start up files in my head that I know contain some good stories. I just need the time to write them. *sigh*
    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Good luck to you with your novel.

  5. I suppose I write because I love to read. I've wanted to be writer even since I was a little kid. I was so fascinated by books that I wanted to write my own. The writing bug infected me at a young age and thankfully there's no cure! :)

  6. Carole, my friend. Thank you very much for your encouragement. I really appreciate it. I want to write, but I come home in the late afternoon and plug into my laptop, and stay on it until I have to go to bed. My kids and my wife are fine with it now, but it may not last forever. My son is already gone more often than he is home, seemingly. I'm really concerned that i will look up one day and both will be grown men.
    When I was thinking about possible posts to write, this topic suddenly jumped into my mind. I thought it might be something that we could all really discuss.
    Continued success to you and good luck with your new project. I really did love your novel, you know. It wasn't just talk.
    Take care.


  7. Thanks, John. You sound a bit like Nicole. How many of us hear the voices in our heads?
    You know, I agree with you about that feeling you get when a reader gushes about something that you've written. I try not to bug readers and simply hope that they will get back to me with a review or comment. Currently, the buzz on my first novel has been positive. It's just the age-old proposition of getting the word out to the audience...
    Thanks again and good luck to you.


  8. Me, too, Laura. Me, too. It wasn't until I discovered the scarier stuff, however. That was what really spoke to me. I did also discover Heavy Metal music at the same time, and attempted to write songs, but found the rules too constricting. I wasn't geared towards fragment sentences that conveyed great meaning. I needed more time...the structure of paragraphs to tell my stories.
    Thanks for stopping by, my friend.


  9. James, I ask myself this question all the time, and I can't seem to nail down the perfect answer. I know one of the reasons is because I look back on what I've written, and I feel proud. When my own story makes me cry, or when I switch words around to make things better, or when I learn a new skill, it all clicks into place.

  10. Hi, Julie. You know, it hasn't happened to me a lot, but I have been "moved" by my own writing a couple of times. It's funny that you should mention that. I had completely forgotten. What a great point!
    Thanks so much!


  11. I say write what you are feeling passionate and inspired about at the moment. Forcing out a third novel if it's all feeling a bit stale, will only result in a novel that feels stale to the reader. As you said, you only have so much time and so you should write something that doesn't feel like a chore. The last thing you want is to start to resent the writing.

  12. Thanks, Marissa. I think so, too. I have yet to decide anything, but if I'm beginning to entertain notions of slowing down this crazy ride, then what could possibly be my last project for a while should be something I feel passionate about.

    Have a great weekend, my friend. I'm hoping to find a project very soon for "Something Wicked This Way Comes". It's been too long since my last one.


  13. We write because it is in us, and somehow it has to come out. We ignore it at our peril, it would eat me up and consume me to hold it in

  14. I started writing a blog, Jan 2, 2010. When I didn't have anything to write about, I would add a chapter to a story about a detective in 1955 NY, who loved the Brookly Dodgers.

    Eventually I had finished the story and a few people asked if I was going to write another. So I did, it ended up being a full 69K words and so I had accidentally written a novel. The first one was short 18K words, from 50K, so I decided to rewite it. While doing that, I did like you, and started the 3rd in the Henry Wood Series. By the time the first one rolls off the press in the 1st week in June, I will have the 3rd finished.

    So why do I write? I guess it is because I have done it everyday since Jan 2, 2010. I like to keep the streak alive. Good luck with your next book.


    Brian Meeks

  15. Why do I write? Because I can't stop?

    I'm one of those with the voices in my head. My characters speak to me. I've sort of always had them there, I just never put it to paper until two years ago. And now I have three books written.

    I write what I love to read. If I didn't, why bother?

    And if you love to read it, others will, too.

  16. Thanks, Stacy. When I came up with this notion for a post I was hoping to get these types of comments. Congrats on your writing and much success to you.


  17. I like writing. I'm a creative person. I think I write because it is challenging yet entertaining. Though I would love to be published more to share my writing with children.

  18. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. You've had quite a lot of excitement lately, haven't you? The last concert I went to was Sammy Hagar at the local Fair. When you were on stage with Jerod, did you tell him to visit Fresno, California? Darn! Next time. ;)
    I hope you get those opportunities to write/get published more for the kids.


  19. It's tough making time. I love writing and would give up all my free time to do it. Unfortunately with a dayjob, it's limited. And with parenting and marriage, even more limited. But it's my hope that with enough perseverance it'll be a way to support myself some time in the future.

    You have to want it bad enough. For me, sleep is the sacrifice.

  20. Hi, PK. Thanks for stopping by.
    I just love all of the encouraging words, and I thank you for yours as well. If nothing else, just hearing from everyone is enough; reaffirming the knowledge that we're all doing the same thing and only other writers understand. Sometimes we forget and need to hear once again that we're not alone in this endevour.
    Have a great week.


  21. I have often asked myself this question. Especially because when I am suffering for my art. I have to wonder is all this worth it? I write because I stopped writing once. Everything seemed amplified for me. Every emotion every drama. Writing is my therapy. I want to get published and share it because I feel validated when someone says. "I know how you felt when you wrote this". Also if it helps someone through something, I've already been through all the better.

  22. Thanks for the note, Natalie. It makes me feel good that a month later a post still has power to elicit a response. I appreciate you taking the time.
    Much success to you with your dreams. I wish you the best!



Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time. I'll get back to you here or on one of the other social networks. It's not like we're not on all of them, right? ;) Also, if you're here to give me an award - bless you. However, your friendship and visits are more than enough. Thanks and blessings.