Writers don’t write to become rich; although, a few manage to become rich. Writers don’t write to fill award shelves or displays; although, a few do fill multiple displays. So, why do writers write? What drives them to put in long hours hunched over a hot keyboard?
Writers write for the rewards. What? Oh, you mean I already stated that few get rich or collect multiple awards. But, rewards aren’t always money or trophies or certificates; although, they may be.
All right, all right, I will stop writing in circles. Let me tell you what rewards keep me writing so that judges can tear what I write to pieces and insult me. Those judges that actually read and understand what I write and send me encouragement through good feedback or who stamp “winner” on my writing reward me. Knowing that someone read and liked what I wrote keeps me wanting to write.
Today, I heard one of my short stories won a writing contest for unpublished short stories. The story is one I wrote years ago and filed away. When the contest rules were posted last year, I began searching for a story I could rework, improve, polish, and/or use. I liked the concept, but my writing has improved over the years between when I wrote the piece and now. I took a hard look at the many problem areas I found. Took a deep breath. Began to rework the story.
Two weeks later, I thought, “Now I think it’s worth entering in a competition.”
I entered the story and forgot all about the contest until today when I discovered that story took first place. Someone liked the effort I exerted into creating a story I felt good enough to enter. The reward wasn’t money or any kind of physical item. The reward was a sense of success – knowing that someone “liked” what I wrote.
I entered an unpublished manuscript for a novel in a contest earlier this year, hoping for feedback that would tell me whether my beginning hooked the reader (in this case, judge) or not. Did what I write work? From a large number of entries, mine took 2nd place. The feedback, though, was the reward. The judge gave suggestions that made the work better, but that feedback also let me know that my idea for the hook worked.
Why do I write? I write because I have stories to share, tales to tell, and rewards to collect. No riches, even if that would be nice, no Pulitzer Prize, even if that would be gratifying, but knowing my words made a difference. I write because I can’t stop
The important aspects of my life are Life, Love, and Bubble Wrap. Life means I still exist and have purpose. Love revolves around family, friends, and my faith. Bubble wrap creates a protective barrier between me and the trials and tribulations caused by the first two.
I will share my thoughts, research, and experiences as I deal with life, love, and bubble wrap.