Why I Write by Rita Plush
I’m usually too busy writing to think about why I write. But now that the query is in my wheelhouse, torture and rejection do come to mind. That’s no joke, folks, considering my first short story was rejected ninety-three times before a literary journal gave it a thumbs up, followed by other stories labored over, fine-tuned and brought back to my writers’ group ad nauseam. And then there’s the seven years it took to find a publisher for Lily Steps Out, my first novel.
So why do I spend hours a day developing a character, plotting and replotting a story, or on the worst of days, stare at a laptop screen, fingers limp, languishing on the keypad? Any normal person would think to try another line of work. But who’s talking normal? We’re talking writer here.
We’re talking digging into your heart and guts and trying to explain the world—to myself, I’ve come to think—as much as to others. Because that’s what writers do; we take bits of real life and build an imagined world around it. Within that world is what we think and feel and hope for, disguised as dialogue, inner thoughts and incidents involving made up people, all the while striving for clarity and honesty true to our characters.
It’s a job, let me tell you, to put a reader there in a scene, to make them feel, see, hear and taste it. To get the chill in the air or the heat of the sun just right, to get the dress and actions, the character's motivations clear and true. And when that happens—when all the bits and pieces come together in a way you didn’t even know you were looking for—you hear it from your readers that you’ve hit the mark—well, that’s a pretty wonderful thing. You’ve created a world with words. You’ve made life shimmer on the page.
Now that I think about it ... that’s why I write.
Wow! It does take a certain skill set and a little insanity, for sure - but that's my opinion as a fellow author - to write a book or story. There's a lot here for writers of all stages, and book readers to think about. So, thank you, Rita! :)