Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FAQ - Why Do You Write? (And a spring slideshow)

Q: Why do you write?

(Well, this isn't actually frequently asked but an audience member asked it of the panel I was on last Thursday.  The two other writers - a retired professor of creative writing and a young man not long out of a MFA program -- both answered that they wrote because they had to -- that it was a consuming passion. Boy, did I feel like a Philistine -- albeit an honest Philistine - when I answered.)

A:  I write for the money.  The money I receive for my books isn't great -- it wouldn't support a family -- but it's useful and it allows me to justify the hours and hours I spend working on my novels. Would I spend a year, churning out 400 plus pages if I didn't get paid for it? 

No, I don't think so. I'd scratch that creative itch with photography or quilting or painting or gardening. And blogging, of course.  Oh, I'd eventually try my hand at poetry or a play or some shorter fiction -- but as I spent the first fifty-something years of my life not writing anything more than the occasional letter, I can't say that I HAVE to write.


Obviously, I don't have the passion -- just perseverance.





 CLICK ON SLIDE TO BIGGIFY AND READ CAPTIONS.

 
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25 comments:

Joan said...

Three cheers for perseverance then! I'm glad you write!

Marilyn said...

I admire your honesty; like Joan I am pleased that you write as I have read all your books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Love your spring slide show, the flowers are lovely but it was the fig tree that I admired/envied the most. I bought some figs from a wee street stall today French Sugar and they are just gorgeous, bursting with juice and flavour.

Merisi said...

"The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You definitely have the will and the passion to go beyond beginnings, all the way to the end of a book, and then another one.

You certainly have passion, passion and zest for life, and that shows in everything you do.

I feel so lucky you share so much with us.

Reader Wil said...

It's not only money you write for, I think. Ihave the feeling that you also love it! I enjoy reading your books and I am sure many more people do. And if you can write, why not do so. Thanks for the touch of spring in your photos! These last few days have been lovely sunny. Yesterday I cycled to the windmills, which takes me only 15 minutes. I waited there outside the souvenir shop for one of the Canadian bloggers. It was nice to meet her and her husband. While he went to have a closer look at the mills, she and I were having coffee and we were chatting about bloggers we both know and how wonderful it is to meet so many different people and cultures.. It was nice and sunny and I am glad for them that they saw my country in the best possible weather.

lines n shades said...

thank you for the lovely post. and i am glad to have found your blog :)

Subby said...

I like this. Tho' my ramblings do not pay ( yet ), the writing helps to keeps my mind uncluttered. It's also a great stress reliever ;)

Desiree said...

I LOVE YOUR HONEST ANSWER!!! I have not read ANY of your books...I no longer choose to read fiction...I haven't, for well over 25 years! I read biographies, autobiographies, travel, adventure and history. In the last year, I've read a lot on Africa. For light reading, I enjoy National Geographic and a few good gardening magazines :)

Super pictures!!!

Elora said...

It's so nice to meet a fellow Philistine! I've always felt a bit shamed by my mercentary pen...especially when introduced to one of those oh-so-holy "I have to write" types!

Elora

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Vickie, Thank you for your honest answer. It makes me feel much better about not writing, and doing photography, blogging, carpentry, and such instead. I always knew I could resist that overwhelming urge to write! Dorcus and I are looking forward to your next one. - Jim

Deanna said...

What honesty. Did their mouths drop open? I'm with Joan - I'm glad you write! We have enjoyed your books.

Thank you for the spring slide show. This season is taking its good ol time getting here, but I expect one morning I am going to wake up to blossoms everywhere! (I hope...)

Vicki Lane said...

I do enjoy the writing -- it's fun to make words do what you want them to -- and it's even more fun to connect with readers. But there are moments when it's desperate hard work and I'd rather be outside pulling weeds or taking pictures. Like yesterday.

What fun to meet with other bloggers, Wil! So many of the bloggers I follow seem like old friends -- I hope someday they'll visit my neck of the woods!

I can't imagine not reading fiction, Desiree. Of course there's a lot of trashy fiction out there but good fiction has much truth.

Tess Kincaid said...

You Philistine, you. I think you actually do have a bit of passion with your perseverance. Love your honesty. And your slideshow.

Deepa Praveen said...

very nice photo collections..yes i am also looking forward to spring.

Helen T in SC said...

I write because it's fun. I'll never make money writing; I lack the talent. But I truly love storytelling and I enjoy the peek into other's imaginations. Your photos are outstanding.

Jill said...

You write because you love it and you make money because you are a great writer! Love the spring photos. Your plants are much more advanced in blooming than mine. I can't wait to see more color in my landscape.

Brian Miller said...

interesting...did it start as a passion...i cant imagine picking up the pen for the first time and thinking oh i will make money writing...

Kaye Barley said...

I'm glad you write too! And I'm also very glad you take such lovely photos!

Tammy said...

Whatever it takes, I think. You obviously have the talent and also a gift of researching and inserting all kinds of interesting detail to your books. Sometimes having the drive to write isn't enough, if you don't also have the perseverance to bring a story to it's end.
Tammy

NCmountainwoman said...

I was taken totally off guard with your statement that you don't HAVE to write! Hard to imagine having all those wonderful characters in your head and not bringing them forth in print. Surprising.

I'm so glad you need the money so I can continue to enjoy your books. I wish you continued success but not enough to make you rich. :)

Vicki Lane said...

Brian -- I was an English major and was always good at writing papers etc but beyound some poems and one bad short story, never tried fiction.
I occasionally would make an abortive attempt in the years after I graduated but was always too busy to keep at it. If I'd had the passion, I think I would have, no matter what.

It wasn't till 2000 that I felt I had the time, took a brief class, and was told by the teacher that I didn't have the passion it took to write a novel. Maybe I didn't but now I had an incentive -- the good old 'well, I'll show him ...'

Brenda said...

I wish I'd been there when you answered, would have loved to see the looks on people's faces. LOL! Love your uncluttered honesty, and the fact that you resisted answering the way you were "supposed to." Great pics. I was hoping someone would identify that little blue flower!

Vicki Lane said...

The blue flowers, I have found out, are Glory of the Snow (Chiondoxa) hardy bulbs from Turkey

Kath said...

I like your honesty, and love your photographs.
What you're leaving out is that you write so very well the world would be a poorer place without your books.
So there.

Lynn said...

Thank goodness for that perseverance -- we wouldn't have those wonderful books if it wasn't for that! And I really enjoyed your spring photos -- up here in Wisconsin, they're predicting 6-10" of snow tonight and tomorrow! Your photos give me hope...

Tipper said...

But you've got honesty : ) And that somehow comes through your writing-even though it's fiction. Does that make sense? It does to me.