It got me to thinking about those books and how I got started writing and well, why I write.
Reasons I don't write (ie thinks that are not motivation for my writing):
- financial success (Despite what you think most writers don't make a living from it)
- fame (For every author's name you know there are thousands you don't)
- recognition (Ah considering at social gatherings even the people who know and love me barely acknowledge my writing we can leave this off the list)
* Disclaimer at various times I have thought my writing might bring me one or more of these things but I no longer believe that.
So why did I start writing and why do I continue?
In my early thirties I had a child and struggled with the notion I was lucky to get that one and wasn't getting anymore, my husband was away around 50% of the time and most of my friends weren't married or were just married and didn't have kids. I was alone a lot. And I'll be honest with you, I didn't love it.
Then my imagination came back to help me. Writing allowed me to create the sorts of friends I wanted to hang out with every day, the sorts of friends I had but missed. I got to write fund dates, romantic scenarios and parties. I drew on things I knew from my life, the good bits.
My early novels particularly Mr Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire had aspects of my personality in them, and my life. Dog phobia is all me. Living by the beach, that's my life. Meeting a hot guy on a tropical island - hey I did that. My writing was a really good way to draw on my experiences and the better, more fun parts of myself that were kind of taking a back seat to my day-to-day reality.
Yesterday got me thinking about those characters and how much I loved them. I wondered why and realise it is because they represent the best parts of my friends, my life and my twenties. That's probably why Cassie and Jack from Hearts Afire remain among my favourite characters. They made my life less lonely more full and they didn't settle, they were characters who bounced back.
I've always had a vivid imagination and a somewhat quirky world view....drawing on this was a way to connect my past to my future.
My reasons for writing have changed over the years. I'm more pragmatic - although I still crush on lots of my own characters and mainly write characters I could see myself sharing a glass of wine or a plate of nachos with. Now though, my writing is a daily practice and an extension of who I am now rather than who I used to be.