WHY DO WRITERS WRITE?
And why did I pick this topic? I ask because that question doesn’t really have an answer. But I have attempted it many times and I’m going to do it again. (Yes, I know the quote about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Still, you never know.)
Some writers, I contend are born. I’m this type. I can't remember not making up stories. I drew them in crayon before I could write words. One inspiration was my mother--I dedicated my first published novel to her. She told me once that she had ideas for stories, but never got them written down. The one I remember her telling me was even a mystery. That determined me to actually write my stories down. I collected rejection slips from The New Yorker and what was then called Atlantic Monthly for a few years in my late teens and early twenties. Very literary stuff, don't you know. But not literary enough for their editors.
In college, I studied creative writing and was encouraged by my instructor, a professor named Hungerford and a man who credited himself with discovering Saul Bellow. He told me that if I kept writing, I would be a good writer in a few years. I think he meant I didn't have enough life experience yet. But I didn't keep writing since I was married, working, and raising children. I know, not an excuse. After a few years, I was about to explode so I did sneak in some stories whenever I could.
Then, one day I got serious about it. I also lost my job, which helped. A mere ten years, seven novels, and 468 rejections later, I became a published mystery novelist.
Really, though, I think some writers are made, not born. I firmly believe that everyone has a book inside them and could write it if they were motivated enough. With enough practice, enough reading, and enough writing courses, anyone should be able to do it.
I’ve been lucky enough to have published 13 novels now! My latest series, the Vintage Sweets, is by Lyrical Press. The first two came out in 2020, bright spots for me that year: REVENGE IS SWEET, DEADLY SWEET TOOTH, and INTO THE SWEET HEREAFTER. That third one just came out March 9, 2021 and I’d love to give away a copy here!
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