Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why write?

Newspaper reporter Hollis Ball is shocked to find herself shedding a tear when she learns her ex-husband, Sam Wescott, was killed in a boating accident. She is even more shocked when Sam's ghost shows up, asking her to find out who murdered him. Winner of a LiFE Award from Literature for the Environment.
Question from the E-Mail?  What do you sat to people who ask, "Why do you  write?"  I'm a teacher and off for the summer. Am working hard on a novel and hope to finish before school starts again in the fall. People keep arguing when I won't go to the beach. They can't understand why I'd willingly spend hours working with no guarantees.

Answer: Say it's your choice to make and point out that you may have more fun at your desk than at the beach. Also you will not have to suffer by sunburn, teenagers, or sandfleas.

When it goes right, nothing can give you greater pleasure than writing.  I have come to feel about my stories (especially since I started doing longer works) that the true satisfaction is in the work itself. At first, I wanted to sell, sell, sell, and I did publish a lot. Now, I'm more in tune to making the writing as good as I can. The work itself is my reward, because I enjoy every minute, even the ones when I'm struggling hard. Then if it sells -- great. If it doesn't, I've had my fun.

My friend, mystery writer Helen Chappell, says I should be shot for even thinking such a thing and "nobody but a fool every wrote, except for money." But I can't help how I feel.

Yes, writing is hard. Some days you feel as if you're wrestling a bear. But, oh the sense of accomplishment if you can make that bear dance!

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