I spend most of my time playing in speculative fiction– namely science fiction and fantasy, with a heavy emphasis on fantasy. My current Work In Progress is an NA Gaslamp Fantasy tentatively titled DREAMKEEPER, about shapeshifters, airship pirates, automaton armies, and prophetic dreams that cause more problems than they solve.
As far as why I write– I don’t think anyone has one reason in particular, but here are a few of mine:
- If I didn’t write them down, the words would keep bouncing around my head until my brain exploded. Sometimes the same phrases will repeat in my head over and over again, and they won’t shut up until I’ve written them somewhere. At times it keeps me from sleeping, and it almost got me fired once.
- I desperately want to read a particular story, and can’t find it anywhere– so I write it myself. If I feel like there aren’t enough LGBTQ characters or POC protagonists in today’s YA? If I don’t like the way romance is often treated in fiction? I could complain about it, or I could get my pen in gear and start writing the kind of stories I crave. (DREAMKEEPER: check and check.)
- Growing up, reading sci-fi and fantasy gave me a way to cope with the world. My problems didn’t seem nearly as gargantuan as fighting secret alien invasions or getting sucked back into the Paleolithic age. As an adult, I want to bring more of that into the world.
- Writing is therapeutic, it’s addictive, it’s a coping mechanism. It’s still very much a way for me to put the world (and my own feelings) into order. Long stints of writer’s block will actually get me twitchy– at this point, it’s pretty much a physical need.
- I’ve done a lot of different jobs in a lot of different field, and honestly, there’s nothing I love as much as writing and editing. Even the lousy parts (sifting for commas, writing synopses, querying agents) are still fun and exciting. And to me, that’s how you know you belong in a field– when even the parts you dread are things to look forward to. I feel incredibly blessed to be in a situation where I can dedicate so much of my time to the craft I love.
So let me turn this question around to you guys: What do you write, and why? Let us know, or blog about it and link us to your post!