Why do you write?
Has anybody ever asked you that before? It is not likely to be the topic of conversation at the next cocktail party you attend, but it is the sort of question that writing instruction books like to ask.
I’m reading a good one at the moment, which is why this question is on my mind. It is called Book In A Month, by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, and it guides you to, yes, write a book in a month, with focused exercises and routines. I love it, but in the chapter on goal setting I felt myself balking.
Who me? Set goals? Why?
But the way that Victoria Lynn Schmidt presented the goal-setting exercises I could handle them. The questions she asks are set off in boxes and the room for answering is mercifully short. This is one of the things I like about the book–it is designed as a workbook, and you are encouraged to write in it, but there’s not room to go off on tangents for any of the exercises. (It is also a brilliant marketing ploy–she urges you to buy a new copy of the book for every new project.)
Some of Schmidt’s questions included queries of the why do you write variety, and so I was forced to stop and think about what my motivation is.
I realized that I write to entertain, to inspire, and to educate a little. But there’s an even more important reason, and after a good writing session this morning, it hit me:
I write because it makes me happy.
Period, end of story. Nothing makes me happier than writing. The world looks brighter and more cheerful and I love everyone and everything in it after I’ve written. This is how I always want to feel, so it follows that I would write all the time to achieve this state, correct?
Well, not exactly. It appears I need to be reminded of how happy writing makes me over and over again. I need to allow myself to fall in love over and over again.