Why do I write?

It’s a funny question. I’ve done a million other things that at least made more than pocket change. Which gave me personal experiences that brought me immense pleasure. Marrying, having children, earning my master’s degree in communication where I was required to write a thesis (so proud of that bound book), and being a market researcher and editor. But I was always drawn to expressing myself as a writer. I took a class at the local high school adult education offerings and was given a prompt by the teacher, “Imagine a lone light bulb just hanging down from the ceiling.” That was it, write a short story. My imagination ran with a story that had nothing to do with that light bulb but a friendship between two men in Alaska. I could not type fast enough. It was like the story was being told to me and it was hard to keep up. I was in the zone. Total seat-of-your-pants writing. No outline. I was hooked. I had made attempts out of boredom or college requirements where poetry came easy and during my communications study. But the Alaska story sealed the deal.

Occasionally, I find myself in the zone but it’s elusive. Most of the time I’m scratching my head to figure out what comes next. But the story leads me in the direction as if a guiding hand. I stumble and fall, panicking when I try to come up with the plot. Then I sit down and just write and the words come as if by magic. I also feel like I have something to say. My books are about social issues from my experience or flights of fancy with my take on how society is so focused on money. I have the luxury to write about anything I want because I’m a nobody. I don’t have a cache or genre I’m known for. No one expects anything out of my next book. I’m self-published and would not have been published at all if not for Amazon.

I did find a small independent publisher for my debut who then went out of business as most of them do. She gave me back my files and the cover art and off I went. With each project, I try for legitimacy but it’s harder and harder. When I first started out I had feedback from some agents but nowadays there is a deluge of writers. And even if you get traditionally published only a handful become megahits that allow the author to live a life of luxury. Like winning the lottery. I hate to admit it, but I still long for recognition. I watched a concert on television and saw a singer entertaining hundreds of thousands of fans. It gave me goosebumps to have so many people appreciate your art. A singer wants to be heard and a writer wants to be read. I’m grateful for my few readers and some really great reviews from strangers. There’s great satisfaction in that.

Right now I’m at a stumbling point in my last novel. Every time I’m finishing a book, I say it’s the last one. So we’ll see. Even though it costs nothing for me to publish, since I do everything myself, even the cover, the costs of marketing the book can add up. And I always have the hope of Harper Collins and the like when it’s done. But at least I can say with pride that I have written worthwhile tales, in a well-written way. My legacy will live on.

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