Now then. Why I write….
I’m driven. Terribly, horribly driven. Not by the muse, not by something so beautiful like that.
Why did I spend years reading writing books and, of late, trying to internalize the advice, suggestions, and rules therein?
Why did I practice writing 500 words in 30 minutes over and over, until I could nail the target in less than 30 minutes?
Why did I participate in contests that require me to write painful pieces, to see if I could draw blood into beauty?
Why did I, on the other side of the scale of reasonableness, start drinking tonic soup, ginseng tea, ginkgo tea; start exercising regularly; start trying to eat more healthy?
Why did I do everything I could to work up to some large word rate per hour?
Because, you see, my job will kill me.
I work for a prominent high tech company. And like all the rest—including Microsoft and Google—they expect you to do this:
I know writing’s pretty stressful too, but how can I put this… Over the past few years, my heart has been emptied. Right now it’s this sucking void in me. And I need to fill it.
This has happened to me before.
I hope that in 25 years I’m able to become a full-time writer, who can manage to pay the mortgage on a regular basis on writing pay alone. And I know I may not make it there. But the only way I can get better is to write, write, write.
If I don’t get there, I know I’m dead.
If I do get there, am I going to need a new obsession? I don’t know. Writing seems to be one of those occupations that is rather organic; it’s always been a component of all my other obsessions. I believe it’s what I’ve been trying to get close to, all these years.
My empty, hungry heart is why I do understand Sherlock Holmes’s dark side. And part of why I’m so driven this month, too. All my characters have this quality of unknown and unfulfilled desire, and although the base of such may be different for each one, that is what drives them—and in turn, what drives me. How they cope, deny, solve (or fail to solve) this lostness, in all the facets of such a wide scope of darkness of the soul, is what forms the themes of my work.
There it is. My inspiration.
Morbid, is it not?
But I hope it’s not too morbid on the outside, and my stories are rockin’ good reads first, and tortured literature way, way last.