Why We Write

I’ve just read five stories from the new book Why We Write edited by Meredith Maran. Maran got 20 top selling authors to spill the beans on why they write and how their process works. It is always fun to read these types of books, because no matter how famous, no matter how rich, these writers all say the same things. “It’s hard.” They all have despair and fear their writing chops will desert them as they begin a new manuscript. Yes, they are just like us, except with more money, respect, and time to write. But they had to earn those perks. They didn’t always have money, respect, or time. And they do not take it for granted.

One of the things that makes me want to smack a writer is when they say “I can’t do anything else.” Well, if you had to, come on, be real, you could. Let’s say you have a kid and need to feed it. You’ll go work at Walmart and do just fine at the job (maybe not so well with the pay.) What they mean, I think, is “I don’t want to do anything else and thank stars I get to do this and nothing else.”

The most surprising thing I’ve learned so far is how accepting of e-Publishing they are. I’ve read five accounts and at least four if not all of them said “Hey, if you want to publish, go do it yourself.” Easier said than done but that’s another post.



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