Thursday, August 20, 2015

What is your ~Why~?

I want you to ask yourself this question: Why am I doing this?

Pick your "this".

For me, I will pick writing. Why do I write? Most writers, when addressed with this question, reach in their back pocket and pull out the Stock Writer's Response to All Questions:

1) What are you writing?
Answer: It's top secret. I'm not allowed to speak of it.

2) Wow, you're a writer. Are you published?
Answer: (Lie) Why yes, yes I am.

3) Where can I get your books?
Answer: Amazon

4) Where do you find the time to write?
Answer: I don't. I make it up as I go.

5) Why do you write, anyway?
Answer: Because I have to.

Now this last one is super-common among writers, but I want you to stop yourself and do me a favor: smack yourself in the forehead. That's right. Smack it good. Make it sting.

Because that's a stupid answer.

You don't "have" to write. You don't have to do anything. Jesus, you make it sound like it's some burden to write, sort of like sex after marriage. "Well, I have to. It's just part of the job."

No, it isn't. It's not part of the job. You don't write because you have to. You write because you ~want~ to.

Figure out what you ~want~ from writing, and maybe you'll be a better writer. Is it money? Is it a career? Is it a little bit of fame, or is this just a hobby for you that will spin and spin and never go anywhere but up and down?

All of those things are fine, but understand ~why~ you are doing whatever it is you are doing. I tell my kids:

Smart people know how to do something. Geniuses understands why. That's the difference.

So try not to just know ~how~ to write, but understand ~why~ you're writing in the first place.

Me, I want to make a career of this. I want to write full-time, and support my family on a sic-six-figure income, maybe seven, and I'll do it not through savvy marketing, but by writing something truly phenomenal that even my writer friends will gawk and and say, Damn, I actually read one of his books, and Eric Trant doesn't suck. Go figure.

That's my goal. That is my ~why~.

What is your why?

 - Eric

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novels Out of the Great Black Nothing, Wink and  Steps from WiDo Publishing.See more of Eric's work here: Publications, or order directly from Amazon, or wherever books are sold.



Roland D. Yeomans said...

You have to eat, breathe, and sleep -- the rest is negotiable, right? We write because we have a dream -- a dream that will not come true unless we put effort in pursuing it. Interesting post as always.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I just really love it. I love the puzzle of figuring out how to do it better and better. I like learning and this writing gig enables me to learn as much as I want in whatever subject I want and have it actually be useful. Mind candy. That's it. I just love it.

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