Stu Jones just blogged. It's the second time in as many weeks. And that's weird for him. Perhaps it's Thanksgiving bringing a well spring of emotion to the surface. Or maybe he's just chomping on his nails while an important beta reader for Vesuvian reads our latest novel, It Takes Death to Reach a Star, so he needed to keep busy. Whatever the reason, he blogged.
The question he posed, and then provided his own view on, was: why do we write?
Stu's take is a noble one. Some of us have a magic inside. We crave to write, to express ourselves. To tell that story that crouches like a tiger inside, waiting to explode into the world. I agree that for some, this may well be the case.
But it's not why I write. At least not anymore. When I was younger, I wrote because I enjoyed telling stories and writing descriptive prose. How could I make the reader see what I'm seeing, or smell what I'm smelling? I covered topics from the Bushido to the dangers of being an over-bearing parent.
Children of the Fifth Sun was a labor of love, some twenty years long. Ideas and thoughts that had been gathered from countless non-fiction books. I saw it as précis on the human condition; the experience of loss. But more than that, it was cathartic - selfish even. The protagonist reflects very specific parts of me. And with the end of the book, came the end of a chapter of my life.
I was sure I wouldn't write again. I had told my story. I was done. I had no more.
And then I had children.
They changed my perspective on life - on everything. And when I re-examined why I write, it became crystal clear. I wanted something to leave behind. Something that my kids could pass down to their kids. Sure, if I make money or even a movie from my work, I'll be happy. But that's not why I do it. I do it for my children. Even way back when, I did it for the children I thought I may one day have.
When I'm dead and gone, no one will care what day job I had, or what clothes I wore. But, for as long as they exist, my books will be pieces of me that my children, and their children, can hold. A piece of me lives in Kelly Graham, and in Demitri Stasevich. Forever.
Now, I am less compelled to put onto paper every thought that I've had. Every spark of inspiration. Now, I only pursue those ideas that, to me, have a greater message for my children.
I write so that one day my children will be proud of me.