Why write a book?
Do you really want to a write a book? The idea has been buzzing around your head like an aggravating fly. Snatches of scenes keep popping up and your find yourself writing down snippets on random pieces of paper, even loo paper. The characters turn up in dreams or you find yourself drifting off at work and engaging in imaginary conversations with characters and how their day has gone… Oh and that is just the beginning.
Those who are not of the literary stance will read the above an interpret it as madness and in truth, maybe it is. The thing is the desire and the compulsion to write has to be accompanied with a reason ‘WHY’. Otherwise why else would you sit alone at a desk for hours tapping a keyboard? That is the reality - you are sitting alone imagining and transforming that image in your mind into words in hope that someone will read it. Maybe someone will read it, maybe they won’t – so if no one reads it then what is your WHY?
The WHY could be anything. For me, my why, is that I am able to step into my own inner fantastical world where there are no limits. I can imagine anything I like and push my characters beyond their boundaries rather than have to experience the situations myself. Admittedly, Love Hunt, is based on reality and I would rather have imagined the scenarios rather than experience them in reality.
So once you have your WHY you have your fuel to remind you what you are writing for. Many of the WHY’s from my students have been quite amusing. ‘I want to put characters in some of the weirdest situations and see what happens.’ Some say they want to be the next bestseller (you can’t dismiss someone else’s why by the way). In the memoirs class my students wanted to use writing their life story as a catharsis/healing or for their family to read in future generations.
Something I will mention is that often when there is a WHY outside of yourself motivating yourself to write becomes easier. The WHYs that don’t work are usually based on money. One student once said I want to write to become rich. Well, that why is never guaranteed and there are more ways to make money which are time efficient. I think my favourite WHY came from a girl who wrote some brilliantly humorous pieces ‘I want to make space and time to sit and laugh hysterically at my own jokes while I write.’ Of course the sense of enjoyment she achieved through writing and simply enjoying resulted in her completing numerous books and drove her to make sales. Her infectious enthusiasm and humour shone from her novels.
So my advice: before you begin writing work out your WHY. It will be there to remind you when you are cleaning the toilet to avoid writing that you have a reason why you chose to write a book.