Why do I write?

I’d like to be a full-time author, but that’s not really why I write.

I’ve been working full-time for a long time now, and I’m pretty aware than ‘JK Rowling sydrome’ can be a dangerous thing. Thankfully, there are a lot of authors out there who are pretty up-front about how writing as a career can often … well, it sucks financially.

I remember reading a news article from the incredible Steph Swainston, essentially admitting that she was going back to be a chemistry teacher because writing was too stressful and insufficiently rewarding, financially. And I remember thinking: if this insanely electric writer can’t make it, then what hope does anyone have?

But I’m still writing. And it’s a little like that scene in the first alien movie: something needs to get out. I have an Evernote folder full of inspiration snippets, but there are some that revolve around in my head, joining other ideas, and then essentially demand to be planned and written.

There’s also the element of world creation; I was quite a big fan of the Myst series (although spoilers: I’m quite bad at puzzles) and love the idea of Atrus just sitting there, writing away and literally making worlds for people. I love that so much.

I suppose it’s an intensely personal reason as to why anyone writes, but I think those are my big two. Now I’ve reminded myself of how much I adore Steph Swainston’s work and I’m off to buy the novella of hers that I’ve been putting off for a while…


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