Friday, January 10, 2014

Why Do We Write?

Why do we, as writers, put ourselves through what it takes to be a published author today? For me, it’s because I can’t quit. It’s in my blood, and the stories have to come out. Half of them or even more may never see publication, but the stories have to be written.

When the story is accepted by a known publisher, our ego gets a boost, but then comes the job of editing, revising and making it into the best possible story for the reader. I love that part of the writing process. The ideas are already there, so now all I have to do is work with the editor and make them better.

Of course, with all the self-publishing options open today, it’s easier than ever to get our material out there and into hands of readers. The problem I’ve found with so many of those is that the writing could have used a good editing. Poor grammar, disconnected thoughts, and head-hopping become common in a good number of e-books published by the author.

Even if don’t always agree with an in-house editor, we know they want the best product possible for the publishing house and when we do work with them to attain that, we have a better end product. Sure, most of us would be content with just writing the story and getting it published, but so much more is involved.

After the editing and galley are all done, we have to think ahead to marketing that book and getting people to buy it. After all, we do want to see those royalties come in. Still, that’s work and not really something most writers enjoy doing. Social media, writing friends, writing loops, and a web presence make this a little easier, but it’s still work.

 If all I had to do was sit at a desk and tell the stories in my head and heart then send them to the editor, I’d be a happy camper, but it takes all the other “stuff” to make the story worth the time and effort of the editor and the publishing team.

With all that is required as well as expected of a writer today, why do you still do what you do? What is it in you that keeps you churning out the stories?

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and the author of the Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart series as well as the novella, Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas and Not on the Menu in Sugar and Grits. Love Stays True, the first book in her third series, The Homeward Journey, is now available. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. In addition to fiction, Martha has contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Debra White-Smith and Karen O’ Connor as well as various devotion books. Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

1 comment:

Debby Mayne said...

Martha, it's those voices in my head. I figure I have a choice: I can write them down and pretend to be normal, or I can be the neighborhood crazy lady who talks to herself.