Monday, May 12, 2014

Reflecting on Why I Write

One of my favorite comics writers Gail Simone (Batgirl, Red Sonja) started a great discussion on Twitter a couple weeks ago when she posted the following question:

There were a ton of great responses, which you can read here. For me, my favorite part of the writing process is when I feel like I've created a place for someone to get lost in. There is a moment in the creative process where the story you are writing becomes a living, breathing thing.

See, when I was growing up, books were an escape for me (they still are). I want to create that type of escape for others. When I write, I feel like I'm giving back, somehow repaying the debt I owe to the writers who created amazing stories and worlds for me to get lost in when I needed to.

From the Encyclopedia Brown and Choose Your Own Adventure books of my early years, to the Dragonlance Chronicles, to the works of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, H.P. Lovecraft and more. Those stories got me through being bullied, bad breakups, family problems and more.

It wasn’t just bad times, either. Whenever my family would go up to Maine for a vacation on the beach, you could find me back at the cottage curled up with a good book. To this day, when I have time alone to do whatever I want, I’d prefer to spend that time with a great story.

And the wonderful thing about my continued love of reading, is that it propels my writing. I have to keep writing, because each story I read adds to the debt I feel compelled to pay back. It’s a debt I’m happy to carry and continue to work off for the rest of my life.

I know we all have reasons why we write, but I wonder how often we actually reflect back on them. Thanks to Gail Simone for the reminder!

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