Why do we do it?
No, I’m serious, here. Why write full length fiction?
The drawbacks are immense… Unless you are very fortunate you will be underpaid and have to balance your writing life with another professional life, so you are working two jobs. Your entire life revolves around making things with words…so when you sleep/what you eat/what you drink etc., are all governed by your writing time. Your family must either be trained or escaped, and it puts a strain on all relationships…it takes very understanding friends to know that when you disappear for months on end, you still care for them but are only on a roll. And then, at the end of all that, two words from a publisher or reviewer can make you feel it’s all been a waste of time and effort.
Life is a whole lot easier if you don’t write books.
Last week, I ran my ‘big ideas’ workshop for the redoubtable Alex and Jude’s Writing Events Bath. And as we talked about what a novel actually was, I felt the whole room’s desire to make one themselves. That desire hasn’t gone away in me, either. If anything, it’s gotten stronger with all the years and ups and downs.
Why write? Because you have to. Because you can’t stop. Because it’s the whole point of life.