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Wow, we're already in October. I've been thinking a lot about the reasons why I write. Every now and again I have to remind myself of the value of writing...for me.
I write for publication and I write for me. These require two very different mindsets. When I write for publication I feel as if I have the intended readers looking over my shoulder. When I write for me it's just me.
When I write for publication everything needs to be perfect. I need to make sure I'm drawing my readers into the world I create, into my characters. When I write for me I have to make sure I'm drawn into my characters, that I care. Sometimes, these two work in harmony. Sometimes, there's a war in the midst. But how to determine which way to go? Ah...that is the question isn't it.
I believe as an author one must work in tandem with those two evils. I'm totally not saying readers are evil...or me, but that mindset that plays in the background of the writer's psyche.
Most of the success stories I've read Stephen King, Junot Diaz, and the like, have been about authors who've struggled with a story "the story" and have beaten it into submission. Now, I can't really say for certain, but it would be safe to assume that probably they weren't in a happy place during that time of their lives. If they were writing for themselves, they probably would've abandoned the story to find a new one or just kept writing crap. No one would see it anyways. But their intention was publication. To have readers read and enjoy it.
What the heck is my point here? Well, after five years with this novel I'm currently writing, I have beaten it into submission. Tears, guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, desperation, denial...all injected themselves into the process like some bad drug. Now, I can't say for sure that this will be "the one". But I think it's safe to say that I'm writing "the end" on this fucker and moving on.
And that, my friends, family, and acquaintances, is inspiration.