The main reason why I write Children's/Young Adult novels (poetry seems to be slipping away from me at the moment) as well as this blog is that it is FUN! For me there is nothing more enjoyable (Okay, hiking a windswept mountain comes close) than sitting in front of my computer, mug of tea by my side, tap-tap tapping away as I bring life to my stories and my characters. Ultimately, it's not habit or ambition (though they are important too) that draw me back to the worlds of Jack Strong and Danny Moo, it's the fact that it's a better, more productive way to spend my time than most other things I do.
Another no less vital reason for me to write is that one day I would like to get paid for it. It would be great if, one day in the not-too-distant future, I could leave ESL teaching and China behind and just concentrate on my writing - and with two novels and a poetry collection waiting to be edited, plus the 3rd Jack Strong novel on the horizon I have plenty to do. Besides, wouldn't it be great to see my book published and adorning the shelves of bookshops across the world? If I want to be the next Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, or J.K Rowling I can't very well get there by NOT writing can I?
Honing My Skills
With each page that I write, nay with each sentence, the better and more accomplished I become as a writer. Writing is sometimes less of an art form and more of a craft or a skill: the more you do it, the more you learn from your mistakes and the better you get. So it is with me. When I first sat down to write Jack Strong and the Red Giant it was hard work at first, and though I'd read a fair amount of novels, all I'd written before were poems so I was very rusty and still very much finding my feet as a writer. The total word count for Jack Strong is just above 80,000 words but I must have binned at least half this amount during the whole process. By the time I was penning my second novel however, all that had changed and everything seemed to flow easier and faster, the result being a far smoother, less chaotic novel completed in a quarter of the time with hardly any rejected text.
My Stories and My Characters
The more I write, the more my stories and my characters and the universes that they inhabit take on a life of their own. I can't let Jack Strong and Vyleria Romen (the main characters in my novel Jack Strong and the Red Giant) die by either by procrastination or through losing hope. To me they are no longer characters in some novel of mine, but close friends that almost have a life of their own; lives that deserve to go on and be written about and read over and over again.
Now whilst I don't have legions of fans scurrying around and haranguing me for my autograph yet, my book has been read, reviewed, and commented on by numerous people. What I really love are the reviews from those people who want to read more, who demand to know when the next book is out, and what will happen to this character and that character etc. Reviews like these are Red Bulls to writers like me. They give me hope. They make me want to write on and have the belief that maybe someday more people like them will appreciate what I'm doing, buy my book, and hopefully spread the word.
These are the reasons why I write, but what about you? I'd love to hear from readers and writers alike in the comment box below ...
My book Jack Strong and the Red Giant is available @: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M22USRE