When I started to get serious about writing, I took a creative writing class at the local college. Part of the class was devoted to a workshop, where each student could bring in a part of something they were working on. There was a five page limit, so we wouldn’t have to listen to someone trying to revise “War and Peace”. The intent was to let the author read his work aloud and then get constructive feedback. I found it to be very helpful.
Over the years, I’ve participated in various groups of writers who also wanted to workshop. Some have been very helpful, others, not so much. Yesterday I was with a new group when one of the guys asked “Why do you write?”
Before snapping off a quick retort, I gave it some thought. Here’s what I said. “I write because I need to. I like to think I’m pretty good at telling stories. It’s a chance for a reader to escape, to be entertained by the exploits of my characters. Whenever I get feedback from someone who says they enjoyed what I’ve written, there’s gratification for all my hard work. Writing fiction can also be godlike. You get to create the characters, the situations, guide the actions and rule the outcome. It’s your world that they inhabit and for the most part, the characters will do what you want them to do.”
Now most authors will admit to dreaming about being on the bestseller’s list, earning millions in royalties and having their stories turned into movies. Some will achieve the dream. Others will forever chase it. But that’s part of life. We all need to pursue our dreams. Writing mysteries and having them published is one of mine. What’s yours?