I get asked this question from time to time, and I usually give the everyday responses most authors give. But every once in a while I will catch myself reflecting back to when I started writing. And it’s during those times I find myself asking my reflection, “Why do you write?”
And the honest answer is: I really don’t know!
Writing is just what writers do. It’s the equivalent of asking a bird why it has the sudden urge to fly south for the winter. And how does it know where to go? I’m sure it’s some God given instinct, but you get the point.
There were things that helped fuel my drive to write, but those stories are for another time. For now, I’ll focus on my earliest memories of when I started writing. And, perhaps, it will answer your question.
When I was very young, my dad would tell me bedtime stories. He would tell the Three Little Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, and, my most favorite, the Uncle Remus stories of Brer Rabbit.
If I could ever say anything about my dad, it was how he fed my imagination with stories and make believe. With that said, the hamster upstairs starting running on full speed and it’s never stopped.
I began to see the world in a different way. While most kids were playing ball and hanging out with friends I was playing army with a platoon of invisible commandos.
To go even further, my Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars had human qualities. My pillow and I would go on life threatening adventures. And then one day, instead of acting out what I was seeing in my head, I did something brand new:
I picked up a pencil and started writing!
In my early years, I’d get lost in the fantastic worlds I listened to or read. My imagination became my reality. You see, people who write books have stories they want to share.
As obvious as that sounds, the point is everyone has at least one story they can tell.
One day I got to thinking about those stories and the authors who wrote them. The more I thought of it the more I realized if they could do it then so could I! Besides, why should I keep my adventures all to myself when I could share them with others?
At around the age of five or six, I took an old spiral notebook and wrote out a story that had come to mind. I drew and colored pictures to illustrate the scenes and cover. And as for the cover, I used the yellow dividers in the notebook and stapled it all together.
I wrote my first book. And I still have it, too!
As I admired my handy work, there was something strangely gratifying about holding a book I had written. And, long story short, I’ve been writing ever since!
It’s a feeling that I can’t explain. I could use every descriptive word in the dictionary, but unless you have experienced it for yourself then you’ll never understand where I’m coming from.
So to wrap this up, you want to know why I write? To put it simply: It’s just what I do.