Why Do Writers Write?

One famous writer, whose name I no longer remember, once asked to have written on his tombstone, the simple legend, “He wrote only to be read.”

After a recent talk I gave on writing, some people waited behind to speak with me. One of them jokingly remarked, “What do you do with all the money you’re earning?” That is a question I have been asked more than once. There are some writers, I know, who write with the hope of making money — a vain enterprise — but the great majority of writers are concerned more about finding readers. One famous writer, whose name I no longer remember, once asked to have written on his tombstone, the simple legend, “He wrote only to be read.” Money was for him neither an issue nor an objective.

Reflecting further on this, I have come to the realisation that recognition, or fame perhaps, is little more a motivating factor to the truly committed writer than is money. So what drives the urge? I believe that the answer is twofold. There is simply the creative spirit that desires to bring into being something original, and there is the creative ego that yearns to share that creation. Most writers would confess, if they’re honest, to a secret wish to stand at the shoulders of everyone reading their work, to watch their every facial expression, to decipher their every reaction, and hopefully, to win appreciation, even praise, for their brainchild. So, while writing may appear initially to be a fire in the belly that must need find expression, ultimately it cannot be an end in itself. The creative ego is a hungry beast.

Guest post by Author Brian O’Hare

Being An Author; Building A Story

Some gauge their day based on a word count. Others outline their story, chapter by chapter before they begin the process of writing.

Almost every time I close my eyes, a story starts building in my mind. My husband says I have a vivid imagination, and he is right. I can make a mountain out of a molehill, or imagine a solution to a crazy situation. Imagination…you bet, and I love it because that is what gives me the ability to create. Last night I woke up at about eleven, after a couple of hours of peaceful snoozing, and a scene began unfolding in my mind. Unfortunately, I don’t have a video recorder, or even a word processor in my brain, because it was a great short story. I couldn’t write it down as fast as my mind was describing it, and now that I’ve slept longer the images are only a faded memory. That, my friends, is what it’s like to be a writer. One can only hope they are prepared to see it…build it…record it…then write it. If I wake in the night, I try to think about the project I have going on instead of letting new ones take over, that way I can jot down the few thoughts and not lose an entire idea because I fell back to sleep.

There are different styles used to build a story. I’m active on social media and what I hear other authors say about their process. Some gauge their day based on a word count. Others outline their story, chapter by chapter before they begin the process of writing. I’ve used both of these processes. Though I wouldn’t put my process of outlining a story in the category of “outline” — it was, to its right, a layout of the story I intended to create. As for word count, the only time I worried about it was when I was writing a 50,000-word novel in a month for a contest of sorts.

My natural process is to see the beginning and start writing. As the story continues, I watch the characters within each scene and move through it as they do. Usually, this goes on for about ten chapters. Then I stop because I need to watch the end happen…yes, the end of the story. Once that is written, I can start filling in the middle. For me, because I can see the end, watching it play out is so much more fun.

There is the occasional “writer’s block”…not fun one bit. The characters wait patiently for me to pick up where I left off…not willing to move on without me. They already know how the next scene will play out, but want me to drive. So, after whatever is holding me up disappears, my fingers begin to fly over the keyboard at lightning speed again…whew.

Now that you have an overview of my style, I hope you will look deep inside yourself and let possibilities or ideas you have surface.

Guest post By Author CJ Vermote

Evenstar and Other “Gone With the… Writing” Stars

No matter how bright your star will shine, stay humble. That’s rule #1 if you wanna embrace success.

Few days ago I went for a coffee with an old friend of mine and while I was listening, not only what she was saying, but also what others around us in the coffeeshop where saying, I couldn’t help myself but wonder… How many different kinds of characters exist out there?

Some are optimists, some others are pessimists pretty much from inside the womb. Some people wanna make a scene, everywhere they go, while some others want to slip through without being noticed. Some are caring and passionate, while others have hearts as cold as ice. Some are kind, but some others are rude. Some are stars… Some others are like Evenstar!

Ready to sacrifice what they were given, what was their birthright, just to be with the person they love. Like Arwen Undómiel, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. She had the gift of immortality and she chose to abandon that to live a mortal life. Well actually she chose to live the extended version of it. The point is that she chose love over eternal life. Love over gifts and birthrights. Love over everything else.

This world is in desperate need of bigger amounts of love. All of us focus on less important and more stressing things and we forget those little things that make our lives seem big and precious. Nowadays, we all live to work, while it should be the other way around; work to have the basic things we need to survive.

Our star won’t shine brighter if we work 13 hours every single day. Our star will shine brighter if we know where our limits are and we spend some time with the people we love and care about; because by doing that we’ll be able to work harder the next day and the day after that. Because at the end of the day, the people we love and care about will stand by us, not our career.

However, I came across many wonderful people lately who seem truly passionate about “NaNoWriMo” and they are basically trying to build their writing career out of it. Now, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” and it basically challenges you to write a novel of 50k words in a month! That’s right! Fifty freaking thousand words in a month.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. And I do it with much more enthusiasm than I did in the past. But, first of all, I write as much as I want, without having to hit a goal. Second of all, I have so many drafts I’m editing and making changes on, that it’s not that hard to update the blog every day. And third, when you NEED to write and you don’t do it just because you ADORE it, that passion seems like it’s fainting. And then you get nervous and the words don’t come out on the paper (or actually on your computer screen) as easy as they did in the past. And it’s impossible for you to…

Some people may be able to do it and I admire them for that. But I can’t. And I’m brave enough to admit it. There are days that I don’t even have time to pee, let alone write. I had even started writing on my iPhone while I was in the bathroom, while I was going to my Spanish lesson, when I was going for a walk, even in my sleep sometimes, just to manage to finish a single prompt every week! Literally man! I was opening one eye and I was typing what had popped up inside my mind. Not so fun…

Writing, creating characters, stories, settings… That is supposed to be FUN! I won’t, under any circumstances, forget why I first started writing. If I manage some day to sell what I have written so far and get paid for my ideas… Well, that’s a completely different chapter.

For the time being, I have my job, which I love, and I write because I love that, too. And so does Katrin Hollister, who was courageous enough to participate in that contest, with an amazing story I try to read every single day. You can check this new fantastic and adventurous story by following that link. I’m sure you’ll like it!

There comes a time when we all sort out our priorities. It may take years, but eventually we all do. I’m not saying that you don’t have to work hard and build a career, but it’s equally, or even more important to build healthy relationships with the people you care about and love. Thankfully, if you’re trying to build a career as a writer, you’ll have to build healthy relationships with the people around you, too, because they will be your inspiration for the stories you want to tell to the world!

And no matter how bright your star will shine, stay humble. That’s rule #1 if you wanna embrace success.

Na lû e-govaned vîn everyone!

© Victoria Moschou. All Rights Reserved 2016.

Beginner’s Guide to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

30 Days, 50K Words. Do you have what it takes? Here’s some help!

Everyone has a writer within them whether they admit it or not. Some will cause it to grow and become a full-fledged author. Others will ignore this notion until they get into the twilight of their life and make a statement like: “You know I’ve always wanted to write a book. One day I just might do that.”  My question to them is why wait for “one day” when you can have a whole month?

The November Challenge

Back in 2005 I was introduced to the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). It’s a website where people gather together as a community and for the entire month of November, they strive to write 50,000 words. For most that seems an incredibly large amount of words. To others, it’s a casual walk in the park. Either way, it’s a challenge that has been going on since ’99.

Founder Chris Baty and his friends in San Francisco had got together and decided to each write a book in the space of thirty days. He randomly chose a book off his shelf and did a word count and obtained the goal of 50K words. As the years progressed the number of writers increased as did the location of these people. Now heading into its 18th year (2016) they are hosting thousands of writers worldwide!

How to Prepare

The goal of course is to write your story starting at Midnight November 1st and ending at Midnight on November 30th. Of course you want some time to be able to submit your work into their validation counter and be officially listed as a winner.

Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)”