Ah yes, the glamorous life of an author. Isolation. Too much coffee. Waking up in the middle of the night with incoherent plot ideas and then not being able to fall asleep again. Google searches not fit to be seen by anyone, ever, including (or maybe especially?) the FBI. Pajamas all day, and not in a cute way. So why, you might ask, do any of us do it?
Excellent question, my friend. Since you didn’t ask, here are some (only mildly sarcastic) reasons why you too might consider joining the venerable ranks of writers everywhere.
It’s child’s play
…In the most literal sense you can think of. Did you ever make up elaborate dramatic scenarios for your model horses? Play Barbies, except Barbie was an exiled warrior princess and Ken was her evil uncle? Act out ElfQuest scenes in the trees behind your house using butter-knives as swords?
If so, you’re in luck! Your inner child might be able to channel all that imagination into an adult occupation crafting something other people will want to read.
We’re all mad here
Worried your parents/significant other/coworkers will be a little concerned that you stayed up all night inventing place names for a world that doesn’t exist? Never fear, the writing community is here!
Whether it’s to whinge, swagger, brainstorm, or just commiserate about life, writing communities are ace. I’ve met so many amazing humans, both online and in person, who understand from experience what it is to have villains monologuing over coffee and imaginary romances interrupting dinner. Who dream in technicolor and then turn those dreams into something real.
You’ll get lost
We live in an era of GPS, of Siri and background location monitoring and having the news pushed directly to your phone. Our lives are on display on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. We always know where we are. Where the closest sushi restaurant is. Hell, we even know where our friends are in relation to where we are!
Don’t you ever want to get lost? Here’s a thought–open a book. Better yet, open your mind. Let go of the real world and get lost in a world you create. There is fragility here, but there is also infinite possibility. And the best part? You can always find your way home.
You’ll live forever
Mortality is relentless, unyielding, inexorable. Part of being alive is the unforgiving fact that we all must someday die. But writing–writing! Think of all the cramped, dusty bookstores you’ve wandered. Did you ever pick out an ancient paperback, flipping through the pages and finding some word or phrase that called to you? Did you buy that book, read it, without recognizing the author’s name or knowing anything about their life?
With your words, you rage against the dying of the light. With your words, you outlive yourself. With your words, you have the chance to live forever.
Just kidding, I was actually referring to Edward Cullen.
You’ll be rich!
Oh, did you think I meant real money? LOL I say. LOL all day.
But you will be wealthy. Reach out and touch the gold of sunlight along a river you just invented. The bright silver of treachery–an unexpected knife in the dim. Jewels of worlds wink at you from the void–they belong only to you unless you choose to share them. This is real currency: getting so deep inside yourself you find something you did not know was there.
What are your reasons to write? Share your thoughts in the comments below!