So, in this spirit, I'll talk about a nagging question that every writer has been asked at some point or another: Why do I write?
It sounds like a cliche question and boring but really, it's a most fundamental one. Stephen King has said he doesn't write because of the money, but I don't see many of his books for free or even cheap... the same goes to every successful writer out there. They might not be in it for the money but they're able to pay their bills and buy nice real-estate with excellent views and 2.5 baths with those checks. Most of them don't have to worry about the money because they're well established and people will come back for more. Their motivation most certainly must come from another place: a love for the craft, the love of attention, the thrill of seeing their faces plastered in many thousands of back covers in libraries all over the nation... who knows.
In our case, my case, I clearly don't do it for the money, at least not for big money. I can't even pay my rent with what I earn as a writer... yet. At this stage, I write because it is my passion, because I enjoy it so much I feel like I'm playing around my computer instead of working. That's a big thing, of course, but I'm also thinking about the future and where I'm expecting to go with my career; I'm also doing it because I want to see my picture in a back cover sharing a shelf with one of those big names. I want to tell the world I exist and I have something to say. I want it bad. Now, I don't mind for hordes of followers; as long as I'm able to sell a decent amount of books to deserve the company of such great authors, I won't cry if I don't have a fan club. Ever.
You see, I don't kid myself or those around me; I'm in it for more than money or the fame, but for the right to exist. Of course money will never go out of use or become a nuisance =). Also, I won't go around claiming I love the arts (though I do, I swear) and I write just because I have this artistic voice boiling inside of me that won't shut up. I'm neither a romantic nor a sell out, I'm pragmatic. Always have been, always will be.
I think that because I have a realistic approach to the hardships of the industry and I'm sincere with me and others about what I expect of my career, I have a better chance to actually be content with whatever comes out of it. I'm not dreaming of being 'discovered' by some random publishing house and jump into celebrity status over night. I know there will be more that a lot of rejections and harsh critiques of my work, but I'm ready to fight for my little space on that shelf and I'm enjoying my way there. What more can I ask of life?
My wish for all of you is neither wealth, nor fame, nor glory, but happiness with what you accomplish and a sense of direction that will take you exactly where you want to be in life.
Write on fellow insecure writers, write on and enjoy the ride. Happy NaNoWriMo!