Writing isn’t about making money . . .
In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
People often ask me why I write and I usually tell them it is because I enjoy it. This isn’t the full truth.
I write because I need to.
I write because of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It was the first story to grab my imagination and hold it hostage. The myth and the magic inspired me to try writing worlds of my own as a child. My first short story was about an elf and a dwarf who went on a perilous journey to find some treasure but ended up being tricked into fighting one another for it. In the early days all of my stories were about good vs evil, epic battles and magic (and some still are) and this was directly influenced by my reading. From The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, to Witch Child and Sorceress, His Dark Materials, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, my reading centred very much on fantastical stories, other lives and magic.
I write because it is a good way to come up with campaign ideas for Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons (sometimes unplanned campaigns become good stories).
In the beginning, before Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, before Gemmell, King, Koontz, Donne, Shakespeare and so many others, I was writing because it was fun. And now? Now I’ve grown attached to writing for therapy.
Neil Gaiman’s paraphrasing of a GK Chesterton quote – “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” echoes the heart of my writing now. Life is a sequence of ups and downs that, as you grow up, you try very hard to make sense out of. Writing is my therapy. You have control over what you create. You can defeat the demons, change the endings, rewrite the tragedies, explore endless possibilities.
I cannot tell you goals or aims, I only know that I am taking this all step by step.
At this moment in my life I write because I need to. I have to let my imagination run wild because I enjoy it; because it infuriates me; because there are worlds in my head that need to escape; because I cannot possibly imagine doing anything else; because to be human is to love stories.