Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why I Write

Blog posts have been scarce of late, but not as scarce as words on the page. It seems like there is a mental dam that is blocking any attempt at writing. I've tried to bust it, I've tried to not care about it, but it doesn't seem to work. I thought getting some betas for my close-to-done work would help, but I haven't heard back from them yet and it feels like a thin excuse to not be working on something else. (And although I am impatient to hear back, I am grateful that I've found people to read it at all and, as long as I haven't heard from them, I can assume they have nothing but good things to say!)

So why am I bothering, then? It isn't likely I'll ever make a living as an author. There are a thousand other, easier things I can do with my free time. I won't change the world or probably even a single person.

But today reminded me. I woke up and wasn't in the mood to get up (ah, weekends!), so I popped open the book I was reading (The Magician King by Lev Grossman) and proceeded to finish the book. It took over 3 hours, but the time flew by. It hardly seemed to matter. I didn't check my phone once to see if my ex had messaged me. I didn't feel the need to look at my facebook or Twitter or the message board I frequent. I was totally immersed, and after the last click (yes, I am a devout Kindle user) I just lay there staring at the ceiling. I felt too good to move. I had that precious feeling of being ensconced in another place, the trivialities and problems of my life irrelevant. I love that feeling. I used to get it all the time, when I had both more time to read and less ability to distinguish shoddy writing. It is rarer these days, but just as awesome as it used to be.

And I want to give people that feeling. I want people to close the cover on one of my books and sigh, and sit there or lay there for just a few moments. I want them to feel my work linger on even when the cover is closed (or the screen is turned off). I want them to shed a tear or two for the troubles of my characters. I want to immerse them in my worlds and help them cope with their own.

I don't know if I'll ever get to that point. It may be entirely out of my reach. But dammit, I am going to keep trying!