Why I Write: I Write Because I Cherish My Alone Time
Why do I write? Because I love living in the world of stories. Ever since my childhood, when my mother introduced me to books and the huge public libraries in America, reading has been my favorite leisure activity. A few years down the line, there were elementary school teachers who encouraged me to write short stories and share them with the class – that paved the way for me.
Many kids grow up saying they’ll be a fashion designer or a writer or another creative professional of some sort, but it doesn’t happen. Life can be unpredictable and priorities change, but my heart was set on a writing career so that’s why I write.
Of course it wasn’t all smooth. I started with a stint in qualitative research for the wrong reasons. Then I worked with a major newspaper’s features department and got a feel for the newspaper publishing industry. When my senior suggested that I write a story for the children’s publication TeleKids, I leaped at the opportunity. Because I must admit that one reason I write is to share my stories and my characters’ experiences with others.
Every story I write comes from the heart and is inspired by something or someone. Every reader is not the same and not everyone will love your stories, but I write and love to write with the thought of touching at least one soul. One person who can relate to my heroine’s dreams and flaws. One person who will smile at the end of my story.
There’s this wonderful quote by Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
That’s another reason I write. I started writing romance books with protagonists in their thirties after I realised that most of the women’s fiction I was reading had heroines in their late twenties at the most. Being thirty plus and single myself, and being surrounded by single women and romance readers who are touching forty or older, I decided to write stories for that age group.
Fiction is beautiful. It allows us writers to build characters and places with so much freedom. That is another great reason to write when you have an overactive mind that loves to eavesdrop at coffee shops and visualise possible situations in your head. I plead guilty to both.
Other than the creativity, I’d say that choosing writing over everything else has shown me how an introvert can thrive at it. No one’s saying that all writers are introverts or that all writers hate people – I’m just saying that I write because I cherish my alone time. Spending most of my hours reading or writing stories brings me happiness and the writing community that I’m connected to on social media makes sure that I don’t end up in isolation really. So yes, writing is fulfilling for my individualistic work patterns.
Other than the creativity, I’d say that choosing writing over everything else has shown me how an introvert can thrive at it.
Other than that, some people have asked me if I write for fame. Oh yes, I do. Most of us writers dream of the day we’ll get a huge book deal or better yet, a book to screen offer on one of our books. I hope for the latter some day but success is such a relative term. You could spend hours comparing your progress to that of other authors but there really is no formula. While there are bestsellers by Bollywood celebrities and already well known writers, there are others who are loved and respected by their fans even if not in huge numbers. Writing is not a good career for someone looking for quick fame. One book wonders are rare. Still, we are human so we have hope. That hope is not a prime reason for writing my stories, but it definitely exists.
As I release every story into the world, I gear up for the reviews. Both good and bad. Even a bad review means that people are reading your books. A good review is motivation. Thus, readers are very important to us writers and a big reason I continue to write. Each new release is similar to delivering a presentation in the office with sweaty palms and nervous nail biting.
So I write.
Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is an author based in Kolkata, India. She is a graduate of University of Rochester and an ex-journalist. When Sue isn’t reading or writing, she is busy doing her best to keep her rescue cats happy. The views expressed are the author’s own.