Why do you write?
I hear this question a lot, and so do many other writers. If not addressed to me personally, it comes up in forums, blogs, Tweets and other means of communication.
I don't think the question is so much as why I write, but why I create. Writing is the medium; I could as easily (if I had the talent) express myself in music or art.
I believe everyone is born with a creative gene or impulse or trait--whatever you want to call it. Sadly, that creativity is mostly squashed by the time we reach puberty. But that's a rant for another day.
Some of us persevere, much to the amazement and puzzlement of our friends and relations. Unless we achieve the success of a J.K. Rowling, our efforts seem meaningless. Why put so much time and energy into a project that at most becomes an expensive hobby?
My reply is that I don't believe anyone, even Ms. Rowling, starts out with the idea that they will make millions of dollars and retire early. If it happens, it is a side benefit received gratefully and humbly. We start out because that story, that vision, that haunting thread of melody, must be freed.
Why do I write?
I answered the question once by saying, "To get the story out of my head."
I guess that's as good an answer as any.