Thursday, April 24, 2014

What's My Motivation?

For this week's roundtable, let's talk motivation. Writers write, as the cliche goes, but why do they write? For money, for the sheer joy of it, to be famous? Anyone who lives the live of an author will tell you that sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why someone would choose to do this crazy, solitary line of work. But don't just take my word for it.

Why did you start writing?

Erwin K. Roberts: I think the desire is in my blood. I come from a very creative oriented family. As early as I can remember I helped with gardening, went into fabric stores to get sewing materials, and more. Maybe it was genetics, or maybe nurture, or both.

I've always wanted to create stories, even just when playing with my friends we would act out alternate versions of scenes from radio & TV shows plus movies. By middle school I wanted to write comic books professionally. The idea of doing prose stories came later.

H. David Blalock: I started writing because I wanted to see if I could emulate the writers I enjoyed reading. There was only so much work they had left behind (most had passed on) and I felt there was a lot more to be written about the ideas they had begun to address.

Ralph Angelo: Because I had stories to tell.

Bobby Nash: As a kid, I wanted to be a comic book artist. I started writing so I would have something to draw. The more stories I wrote, the more fun I had coming up with characters and stories and eventually the art fell away and I focused on writing.

Lee Houston Jr.:  I was a reader long before I figured out what a writer/author was. But by the time I read my first all prose (no illustrations) book in 5th grade --ERB's A Princess of Mars --I could not picture myself doing anything else in life.

John Morgan Neal: Because I don't have any other talents or skills. Some may argue that I don't have any. :) But yeah, it was the inspiration from my favorite comic book, science fiction, horror and etc writers that I wanted to do what they did. And because I am too chickenshit of pain to have become a pro wrestler.

John R. White: I started In High school, but never had support or encourament. After my divorce in 2004 I restarted my writing, and in 2010 began writing steampunk.

Bill Craig: I started writing because I was driven to do it. I have a deep-seated need to tell these stories.

Ashton Adams: Because I couldn't draw. But then I realized that I only wanted to draw to tell the story. The way my mind works in creating a story is very visual so I assumed that I was supposed to be drawing or filming. But it writing is what I was supposed to be doing all along.

Do you write because you enjoy the act of writing or do you write to 'have written'? Why?

John R. White: I write because it fills a missing hole, and is something that I find fulfilling and enjoyable.

Bill Craig:  I write because I cannot not write. In many ways it is almost a physical addiction to produce stories via the written word.

Ashton Adams: I hate starting to write. I hate staring at a blank screen to be filled. But once I jump in I can't stop and it is exhilarating. Very few things are as fulfilling as creating a world and characters. Hmmmm....maybe I have a god complex.

John Morgan Neal: Are you kidding? There are parts of writing I abhor. The only part I truly love is the story telling. That part where the energy crackles around the brain and shoots down to my hands with Kirby dots galore.

Erwin K. Roberts: Personally, I do not see why anybody, except in a professional "publish or perish" situation, would write just so they could say they have. Folks in our circles who are making their living by writing, like Bobby Nash for example, do have to write to live. That's totally different, in my opinion.

Bobby Nash: A little of both, actually. I love to write and I like it that there are books out there with my name on them. I started writing because I loved it. I still do, although these days, writing is also a job for me so I have to go at it as a job. By that, I mean that I have deadlines, contracts, and obligations that I have to meet. Sometimes I have to set aside the personal project I’m in the mood to work on so I can finish up a deadline. Before I started writing professionally, I worked on projects as the muse hit me. That’s not always an option these days.

Ralph Angelo: I write because these stories are bursting out of my head all the time and they have to go somewhere. So basically I enjoy the act of writing

H. David Blalock: I continue to write both because I enjoy writing itself and because I enjoy sharing the stories. When I expound on an idea in a story, I am expanding my own understanding while hopefully offering the reader an opportunity to share that new understanding.

Lee Houston Jr.: The act of writing is my passion. I take great pride in my creations, to the point of thinking of them as my surrogate children, so to speak.

What do you hope to accomplish in your body of written work?

John Morgan Neal: To be as famous as Elvis and to have Bill Gates Money. Failing that I'll be happy to just entertain enough people to be able to feed, clothe, and house myself. And buy my dog Bones a platinum dog bowl.

Bobby Nash: In the long run, I hope to have entertained readers and maybe create a character or two that continues on long after I’ve left this earth. In the short run, entertaining readers is still important, but I also have to pay bills like everyone else and I love it when writing allows me to pay them.

Lee Houston Jr.: I hope to entertain, and maybe even enlighten the reader whenever possible. While I certainly am not getting rich writing, I love what I'm doing and doing what I love and who knows? Maybe some day I'll be somebody's favorite author who inspires them to be creative.

Bill Craig: What do I hope to accomplish? I want to entertain and maybe make someone stop and think about an issue in a way they might not previously have considered.

H. David Blalock: More than anything else, I want to evoke an emotional response in my reader. I want to make them love or hate the characters, to be enchanted or repulsed by their actions, to find in the story something to add to their personal life experience. To me, that is the critical connection between writer and reader.

Ralph Angelo: I hope to entertain. That is it. No motivation beyond that. I want the reader to sit back and have a good, exciting time, and I want them to come back for more. No, rather I want them to want to come back for more.

John R. White: To make people smile.

Ashton Adams:  I simply want to entertain. If something more profound happens then great but I think just the simple act of bringing enjoyment to another person can be trivialized in pursuit of loftier goals sometimes.

Erwin K. Roberts: Entertain people and, in a way, entertain myself during the crafting of stories. Making a bit of money at it, in my case, is icing on the cake.