A fellow writer told me about a dream she recently had where she just published a piece of writing, and then said to a friend, "I'm grateful for the work but I know that when it finally gets published, that good feeling is pretty fleeting." And I know from experience that that sentiment is true. With every goal I reach, I feel good for a fraction of the time that it took to get there.
So why bother writing? I had a glimpse of my answer on Sunday. After writing for a few hours--the miserable kind of writing, where I grumbled the whole time, wondering what the f I was doing, wondering why I don't just give up and spend my time, oh, making cocktails--I had my very own Ah-Ha moment. Something clicked in my story. I got perspective and saw that my way into the story was through using my character's perception of the setting (the hospital) to mirror my character's feelings (confusion and anger about her marriage).
It felt so good to get those pieces to click! As good as meeting any external goal (graduating from a degree program, publishing a newspaper story) has ever felt. And it's lasted a lot longer, too. In fact, I'm still riding on the feeling, which has allowed me to write a little bit of the story each day without grumbling and wanting a drink.
So that's why I write. For the feeling that comes from finally--finally!--making a story work.
Though getting published would be nice, too. :)
I'd love to hear why you write. Leave a comment.