Why Do I Write?

Posted on 20. Jan, 2016 by in Uncategorized

That’s a good question. Is it because I haveĀ  a dream of being a published author? Is it because I want to make a little extra money for my family? Or is it because words and images and situations bounce around in my head until I think my brain is going to explode? Is it because I love it? And just because I love it, is it worth it?

Because the truth is, trying to become published and make money takes so much failure and so much time and more money than you would think. Money spent on writer’s conferences, retreats, books, and writer’s groups to improve my skill. Time spent in front of a computer, a notebook, or just staring off into space thinking about what to write. When I think of the money and time spent, the mom guilt piles up and I think it’s not worth it. By the world’s standards, I’ll probably never be successful as an author, because by the world’s standards I’ll have to make enough money to cover my expenditures and the time I put into it. When you consider that I’ve spent the past seven years working on writing and improving my skills, I’ll never make back more than maybe $1 an hour of all the time I put in and that’s not even factoring what I’ve spent monetarily.

So I ask myself these two questions often: Why do I write? Is it worth it?

I write to make sense of the crazy world I live in. I write to have control over some corner of my own universe. I write to communicate with the world because just telling them what I think feels too scary. I write to prove to myself that I can. I write to honor my Heavenly Father who gave me the talent. I write to accomplish my childhood dreams and to show my children you’re never too old to try. I write when I’m sad, I write when I’m happy. I write because I have to or I would curl up in a ball as I think of all the terrible things in the world.

Is it worth it? That’s a harder question to answer because it’s such an individual question. I have to answer it, not just for myself but for my husband and my children, because I care about them so much. Is it worth me taking time and money away from our family to reach for a dream that in the world’s eyes (and sometimes my eyes too) isn’t going to be successful? Monetarily I’ll never get out of writing what I put into it, so why bother? I’ve tried to quit writing several times in the past seven years. Every time it was my family that shoved me back in the direction of my dream. From my husband literally picking me up and sitting my tush in my chair to my children blowing up my Facebook account telling me not to give up, they truly want me to succeed. Despite the time and money it takes, they don’t want me to give up. The value of going for my dream is seen in the looks in their eyes as I told them I finally signed a book contract, or in the way they tell me about their own dreams. My children all know what they want to do in life and my youngest child is only twelve years old. Not many children that age have a well thought out dream and a plan to go with it. Did my dream inspire them? Did the hard work, time, and money our family put into it prepare them for what they have to do to reach their own dreams? Was it worth them learning those lessons? I’d like to think so.

As I enter the world of getting a book published, instead of reaching the peak of my dream, I see another peak ahead. It will take even more time and money to climb my new mountain and I find myself asking the same two questions: Why do I continue to write? Is it worth it?

I write to be successful in the eyes of my children. It’s worth every second and every penny if it teaches them to not only dream, but to be willing to work for it. Those two lessons are valuable beyond anything and I’m learning them too. I reach for my own potential with every word written. That’s why I write.

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