Why do you write?

Why do I write? Certainly not for the money. My writing expenses (ink, postage, workshops, how-to-books) have no income to balance against––yet.

I write because I love to polish words and phrases. I roll words around in my mind and feel them on my tongue. I dissect words and put them together again in exciting new ways, twisting and turning phrases. My sentences have a life of their own. If I put my work aside and pick it up weeks later, I am surprised and frequently delighted by my words — as if seeing them for the first time.

Many authors insist that editing their own work is the worst part of the writing process, but I love searching for weak verbs, vague pronouns, and useless words. The “Find” feature of my word-processing software is a terrific tool in my hunt for “it”, “was”, “…ing”, and “…ly”.  The time I spend hunting down these limp words may not be cost-efficient, but gives me hours of entertainment.

A red pencil gives me satisfaction too. When I owned a business and received letters with grammar and spelling issues, I felt compelled to circle them, though I stopped short of returning the errors to the sender. Perhaps I should have been a teacher.  Now I use my red pencil for good.  Within our local writers group we exchange chapters for comments and corrections.  I enjoy editing the work of others––as long as the authors welcome my suggestions.  In the process my own writing improves.

When an author I respect takes the time to read and comment on my work, I truly appreciate their assessments. I always mull over their suggestions and frequently agree with them.  Their honest feedback  improves my writing.

I write because it makes me happy, but I hope that someday my effort will be validated by a reader or publisher willing to pay hard-earned cash for my novel.

Today is not that day. The agent who had expressed a mild interest in my novel, Rim to Rim––Death in the Grand Canyon, sent a nice rejection letter today.  I’ll keep pounding away at this writing craft, but right now that day of validation seems light-years away.

4 thoughts on “Why do you write?

  1. You have picked excellent locales as settings for your mysteries and this blog shows that you have a mastery with the English language. I am sure I will see your book in the stores soon. Can I get a version for my Kindle?

  2. I'm a birder of sorts too, but only Florida's larger birds. Small birds just won't hold still long enough. I frequently carry by binoculars and a field guide to the Six Mile Cypress Slough in Fort Myers to watch the water birds.

  3. Follow your dream. I like to write as well now that I have time. So far blogging and a few stories published (for free) in a birding magazine are the peak of success…. but it is fun. Good luck!

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