Maybe the title to this post should be "Why Do I Write?" Har.
On some days, I can't anwer this question. I'm struggling to answer it today--rejection blues calling again. Call this a little reflection on my personal evolution as a writer.
When I started writing in earnest, I didn't intend to go the genre route. I've always enjoyed speculative fiction--some of my favorite books include classics of science fiction and fantasy: The Stars My Destination, Sirrius, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, The Hobbit, The Haunting of Hill House, I Am Legend--I just didn't intend to write it.
To go back: late July 2007--I'm in a state of funk after the end of Harry Potter. Go ahead and laugh. I read Deadly Hallows twice in three days; it left a big, nasty hole in my chest.
I'd kicked around writing for years--but never really embraced it. So there I was, big hole in my chest, looking for something to fill it. 2006/07 had been a rough year at our house, a tale for another time, and I drew strength from surviving those personal trials. I can do this writing thing, I told myself. I knocked out The Last Days of the Springdale Saints in two months, revised a half dozen times, and started sending out the queries. I was sure to be famous, soon.
Reality intervened. Rejection x rejection x rejection. My interpretation: I just need some publication credits, that's all, then THEY will pay attention to me. I started knocking out a few short stories. After another four months, some of those stories saw print. Now I'll be famous...
But that isn't really what I wanted or what I'd come to enjoy. I fell in love with telling stories, especially spec fic. Speculative fiction allows truth to be told in rich, engaging ways--sometimes it can be more human than literary fiction. I always knew this truth as a reader and have only begun to understand as a writer.
On the good days, the days I really enjoy writing, I do it because telling the truth feels so good. Intoxicating, really. I feel more honest when molding a piece of fiction then any other thing I do.
It isn't about me, and it never has been--even if it took me a while to realize that simple truth.