Recently, was sent an advanced copy of a story that I wrote for an international publication. The topic to which I was assigned was quite a challenge and the end story was somewhat emotional to me. I shared the final product with someone who asked, "Why did you write this?"
The question took me by surprise. The publication was a reputable one, and the pay was average for this kind of publication. I am always excited when my name is spelled correctly in the byline.
I'm not sure that is what this person was asking. I think she wanted to know why I write--period. That is more complicated. I have heard people say that the reason they write is the same reason they breath. I don't think the non-writer understands that.
I think it is the same thing that makes the chef work at a signature creation. It is what drives the painter to design a masterpiece. It is why the dancer pushes her body to exhaustion to perfect her number.
I used to think that writing a book would be a way that I could live on, but I realize that even books have a shelf-life, especially now with ebooks replacing hardcopies. No, literature doesn't live on like it once did.
The rejection is difficult. Just like any form of art, writing has its critics and even a kind letter from an editor is painful. Yet I still write.
Maybe it does some good. Maybe someone finds it entertaining. Maybe.
Would it be selfish if I write for me?