Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why Do You Write?

I saw this video the other day. The speaker is Scott Stratten, the president of UnMarketing. He gives a very moving talk in the video, much of it about how we all rush through life.

How does this apply to writing? 

We as writers sometimes fail to savor the moment. You might sign a book deal only to begin wondering why it wasn't for more money. Slow down. Be thankful. You should write because you love it.  Write because that story idea that hit you while you where out walking is eating at you. Write because you can't not write. Publishers can drop you. Fiction markets dry up. But you can always put your fingers to the keyboard and create. Sometimes when it seems like you'll never sell another story or novel, the writing's all you have left.

If you asked unpublished writers their goal, they would tell you it's to sell their work to a professional market. And that's a worthy goal.  Something we should all strive for as writers. But it is in our nature as human beings to always want more.  If you get a five figure book deal, you'll wonder why it wasn't six figures. If you hit the USA Today Bestseller List, you'll wonder why you didn't make the NYT Bestseller List. 

Strive to reach your goals, but as Mr. Stratten advises, slow down. Enjoy the ride.  It's only when we stop going a hundred miles an hour that we can enjoy life, and such things as the act of creation.

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