I have friends who just don’t get it. They don’t understand why I am prepared to sacrifice such a huge chunk of my life to writing.
‘You should come out more at the weekends and do stuff’ they say. ‘You need to expand your social circle and meet more people. It’s not healthy spending time cooped up indoors writing’.
For the record I think my social life is fine. I have plenty of friends and I generally dedicate one day of my weekend to seeing them or family and one day to writing. Truth be told, I could do with a few extra days in the week to fit everything in.
For those in any doubt, this is why I write.
Firstly, the boring reason. I write for added security.
I have a day job, but it’s one that pays barely enough to cover the bills. I live in a tiny one bedroom house and drive an eighteen year old car that keeps threatening to die on me. At the moment I have no future financial security. Until this year I couldn’t even afford to pay into a pension and I permanently live in my overdraft.
This was never the plan and it would be nice to look forward to a future where money wasn’t such a worry. No different to a million or so other people I expect.
Writing gives me a chance to have that added security. Okay, so I’m never going to make it on to the rich list alongside JK Rowling and James Patterson, but while my books are selling my income does receive a tiny boost and the more I write, hopefully, the bigger that boost will be.
The second reason I write is because I love it.
Telling stories is what I do. It’s what I have always wanted to do, it’s what I am good at, and no other job on the planet will ever give me the same buzz or satisfaction.
I love creating characters, fleshing them out into real people, building twisty tales around them, and trying to grab readers in those first few pages before dragging them on a rollercoaster adventure that climbs and climbs and climbs before an exhilarating drop back down to the finale.
I remember being in my early twenties and telling people I wanted to be an author. Most of them used to smirk, some politely humouring me. Writing was a career like singing or acting. It wasn’t a job that people in the real world got to do.
Well, guess what. I believed in my dream and I persevered, and eventually it came true. And if anyone thinks I am going to be complacent and assume the hard work is done, then you’re wrong, because now I have that dream in my grasp, I’m never going to let it go.
In fact, I’m just getting started.