Okay, I know I stole the title from that old Peace Corp commercial, but I thought it appropriate.
Webster defines the word author as: one that originates or creates, which is a pretty generic description. I know a lot of authors, some published, some not, and to define them as "one that creates" seems a little nondescript. The women that I know, who write, spill their blood on every page. They can spend thousands of hours, creating a new world and every single thing that lives inside it. A new race of people, a new language, new rules that make an age-old paranormal creature new and exciting again.
It all starts out with an idea. An idea that comes from out of nowhere. One day, you're driving in your car and a crazy woman driving faster than her beat up old Toyota appears to be capable of going, cuts you off. After you swear at her in multiple languages and give her an obscene gesture the thought runs through your mind that she just might be chasing after that idiot in the Hummer who tried to kill you just moments earlier. Maybe the idiot in the Hummer has stolen her prize Chihuahua and she has only minutes to get to the poor beast before she'll collapse from not having her seizure medication. And so it begins. The hours and days of researching Chihuahuas and endless hours talking with vets. Do Chihuahuas really have seizures? What would cause such a thing? Is there a cure? Can a Chihuahua have epilepsy?
We pour hours of our heart, soul and anything else we can possible put into the mix into this woman with the crazy Chihuahua fetish. We discover things about her and her life, that honestly, we didn't need to know. We learn so much about being a veterinarian and what kind of person would truly kidnap a dog that we dream about it. A lot. We keeps pads of paper and pens by the side of our bed, on the off chance that something brilliant comes to us in sleep. We do all of this, so that we can tell the crazy woman's story with a little bit of realism. So that the readers that we one day hope to have, get a true sense of her fear, her love for her animal and the understanding of just how much the anti-depressants really do help.
We go through all of this, so that we can submit to an agent/publisher/CP who will say. . . insert negative comment here.
Why do we do it? Why do we subject ourselves and our talent to this kind of criticism? Why can't we just write for ourselves and be happy with it? Be happy with knowing that we did the best that we could? Because we want the world to love it as much as we do. It's an illness really.
Why do you write?
Originally posted 2009