Authors write for different reasons. Some write to express their own desires. Others write as a form of therapy, as a way of helping them deal with or come to terms with difficult situations. Some may write about personal experiences in an effort to help others who may be in similar circumstances. Others may write simply to entertain.
So why do I write?
For me, writing is both therapeutic and a form of entertainment. My day job as an IT consultant is both stressful and somewhat mundane. That’s not to say that my job isn’t interesting or that I don’t enjoy what I do but it is, to say the least, predictable. Each project may have different requirements that incorporate unique technical designs but the core products, tools, processes, and methods used are generally the same from one project to the next. It is rare that I go into a new project with enough unknowns that it makes me nervous.
Writing is different for me than this. Writing is not stressful. It provides me with a release of that pent up stress and it helps me to unwind and take pleasure in something with little physical effort. After a long day of programming complex automation processes, designing large-scale solutions for multi-national companies, hospitals, government agencies, or educational institutions, writing allows me to turn off my logical mind and engage my creative mind. That change in pace allows my mind to rest for the next day’s work while still letting me work on something fun without absolutely exhausting me mentally.
Writing is not always easy though. Sometimes storylines don’t come together as you hope, a nagging case of writer’s block frustrates you because you can’t seem to make any progress, and there is a constant question in the back of your mind if the story is any good. I’ve abandoned stories that were several chapters deep because after spending days, sometimes weeks, writing I felt the story wasn’t working the way I wanted. But even when I’m stuck or starting over, I don’t feel stressed. I like the fact that I can casually start and restart each project until I feel comfortable with the results. There are no timelines or deadlines that require me to complete a book in a certain time or that I have to accept something I don’t entirely like just to hit some arbitrary date.
And aside from the relaxation aspect of my writing, I write because I enjoy entertaining others through fiction. Even as a young child, I enjoyed telling elaborate stories. One of my oldest storytelling memories is of me in Kindergarten at the age of 5 getting up in front of my class and telling a story of how I killed a bear with a single gunshot. My teacher would later comment to my mother that she struggled to make me stop telling stories.
My teacher really never learned how to stop my stories and neither has anybody since. I’ve continued telling stories for entertainment. As I grew older and learned to play Dungeons and Dragons, a.k.a. DnD or D&D, I’ve been able to put my storytelling experience to use in creating campaigns for me and my friends to play and enjoy. And along those lines, I write a variety of stories from high fantasy to science fiction for no other reason than to create unique stories that others may find entertaining.
Some of my stories may feel familiar but that is by design. Not because my aim to steal another author’s work but to create something that draws some common aspects that help readers relate to it. I try to create stories that are written in such a way that they are quick, exciting reads with steady action that compels the reader to keep reading. To do that, I leverage what others have created before to draw upon the common stereotypes or descriptions to allow me to spend less time defining the in depth descriptions that tend to drag the flow of a story down while allowing me to focus on creating that fast paced flow that leaves a reader feeling the same physical or mental exhaustion as the characters when relevant.
When I can focus more on the entertainment aspect of a story and less on the super fine details in absolute world creation where I have to describe every hair, stitch, weld, stone, creature, monster, beast, and race, I feel I can bring a more entertaining piece of literature to market. I’ve done complete world building exercises before in doing game creation. It is tedious. It is ultra detailed. Both of those things require extreme focus and attention in storytelling that some readers may not appreciate. That’s not my style so I don’t prioritize those features of writing.
But that’s why I write. I write for me. I write to relax. I write to entertain. I write to let readers enjoy easy to read and fun stories that don’t require a lot of thought or interpretation. I write because I enjoy it.I write because I want to, plain and simple. I don’t write because I think I’ll be some best selling author like Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, though it would be nice. I just enjoy it so I do it. There’s nothing complex about it. I just find it fun.