Why do I write? I posed that question to myself a few days ago (yes I talk to myself all the time – don’t judge) after posting a very short and apparently very shocking teaser. As I re-read the teaser, which was nestled between two other less shocking scenes, I had to gasp at what I’d written. It was intended to provide a bit of background for a character’s future motivation and the essence of who she had evolved into. I chastised myself because if I’d read that passage without warning and out of context, I too would have felt a considerable amount of discomfort. This experience got me to thinking about why I spend a great deal of my free time writing. It’s a hard question to answer and honestly I’m not even sure I’ve dug deep enough to provide the naked answer, but I’m going to try.
Before I head down that path, I want to share something I learned a few years ago. There is a concept called, The Johari Window. In one quadrant there are all the things we know about ourselves and others know about us as well. For example, I am a writer and am married to a beautiful woman. Completely open area. In another quadrant there are the things you know about yourself, but are completely hidden to others. I’m a sex addict (oh just kidding, I’ll never tell my deep dark sex secrets….). The Façade. The greatest opportunity for growth is in the third quadrant that I call, The Blind Spot. This is the area where things are known and apparent to others, but you yourself are completely oblivious. You tell me what those things are….please, pretty please because I want to grow. The final quadrant is where it gets really interesting. I call this quadrant, The Vortex. This is the place where everything is a mystery. I have a sneaking suspicion that’s where my true motivation for writing resides, all fat and happy in The Vortex. However, I decided I would at least attempt to analyze my motivation for writing.
I started out writing when I moved and my wife and I lived apart during the week and only saw each other on weekends. Quite simply, I was bored. A person with a combination ADHD and OCD should never be bored…it’s dangerous.
When my first story was accepted for publication, I continued to write because it was fun and I had a lot of ideas bouncing around my warped brain. My motivation was evolving. By the time I started my third novel, I started to shift to wanting to do more than simply entertain people.
I have a master’s degree in counseling education and the most rewarding work I engaged in prior to writing was as a college professor. At my core, I am an educator, thus the reason for sharing my background. On a side note college professors do not rake in the dough, thus, similar to writing, I’ve always had a day job as something else and teaching was always what I did in the evenings for the pure joy of it.
I digress (remember the ADHD)…back to why I write. By my fourth novel, Locked Inside, I started to have a compulsion to write about topics that cause people to think and yet still retain that underlying foundation of romance and love. Whatever I choose to write about, it has to contain a love story, but I wanted to also generate meaningful discussion.
My favorite theme to meaningfully discuss is the concept of beauty and it’s companion…the unique gifts that women bring to the table. Sometimes those gifts are not readily apparent or the woman works hard at hiding them. Ultimately, I’ve come to the conclusion that I write because not only do I wish to entertain, I want to touch people in a way that they may or may not have experienced before. Sometimes, at least I hope I’ve managed to hit the mark, other times I suspect I miss by a country mile.
So…if you’d like to take some accurate or wild guesses at why I write after experiencing one or all of my books…you know the drill…click on the links below! Maybe you will fill in that Blind Spot for me!